Preview
Preview

Essay about Crime and Imprisonment in Great Expectations

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 1403 words (4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Crime and Imprisonment in Great Expectations

 
    There is a clear relationship between the characters in Great Expectations and crime. Dickens uses this connection to show that a criminal can be reformed. He also shows the characters to be prisoners of their own doing.

Pip is born into his prison. He continuously associates himself with criminals and criminal behavior. Pip likens himself to a criminal from the start: "I think my sister must have had some general idea that I was a young offender whom as Accoucheur Policeman had taken up . . . and delivered over to her to be dealt with according to the outraged majesty of the law" (41; ch. 4). He equates his home to a cage or prison and Mrs. Joe becomes not a sister but a jailer. Pip makes the quick transition from ignorance concerning the Hulks, from "Please what's Hulks' said I" (33; ch. 2) to feeling "sensible of the great convenience that the Hulks were handy for me. I was clearly on my way there" (34; ch. 2).

Pip sets himself up to be prepared for jail after every event. When Pumblechook chokes on the brandy that Pip has filled with tar he says "I had no doubt murdered him somehow" (46; ch. 5). Dickens ties Pip even closer to criminals by making him portray the title character in the story of George Barnwell. Pip realizes his alliance with crime during the reading; "What stung me, was the identification of the whole affair with my unoffending self. When Barnwell began to go wrong . . . I felt positively apologetic" (123; ch. 15). Again the union with criminals comes into play when Pip discovers Mrs. Joe has been attacked; "With my head full of George Barnwell, I was at first disposed to believe that I must have had some hand in the attack...


... middle of paper ...


... soon turn into beautiful flowers are associated with dark, grim prisons. It is through this early interpretation that the reader is forewarned of Pip's future with crime and criminals.

Pip's future is mapped out from the beginning. He unknowingly enters into a life-long partnership with Magwitch that affects every part of his life. The great expectations that were destined to make Pip a gentleman are given from a reformed criminal. The criminal has seen the wrong of his ways and has decided to help the one person who never questioned him, Pip. Dickens uses the imprisonment issue throughout the text, in some cases as a threat and others as fate.

Works Cited

Reed, John. "Confinement and Character in Dickens' Novels." Dickens Studies Annual London: Southern Illinois UP, 1970.

Sadrin, Anny. Great Expectations. Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1988.

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on The Theme of Imprisonment in Great Expectations - The Theme of Imprisonment in Great Expectations       The renowned poet, Richard Lovelace, once wrote that "Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage." Although many think of a prison as a physical building or a jailhouse, it can also be a state of mind. A great number of people are imprisoned mentally and emotionally. Charles Dickens expresses this message in his eminent novel, Great Expectations. This book is about a simple laboring boy who grew into a gentleman, and slowly realized that no matter what happened in his life it couldn't change who he was on the inside....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1063 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Punishment of Women in Great Expectations Essay examples - The Punishment of Women in Great Expectations In Great Expectations, a prevailing theme is crime and punishment, and the novel accordingly explores the role of women in the Victorian society. On the one hand, there are a few female characters that are depicted with an innate moral goodness; on the other hand, there are those who are morally depraved. The difference between these doubles is striking and sometimes exaggerated, which creates a clear contrast between the characters who adapt to the imposed morals of Victorian culture, and those who do not....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1031 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Essay - Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 'Great Expectations' was written by Charles Dickens in 1861. 'Great Expectations' is a coming of age story that revolves around the life of one man Pip. From the time he was seven years old until he was in the mid thirties, Pip shows us the important events in his life that shaped who he became. Along the way, he enquires many different acquaintances and friends that influence him in his decisions and goals in his life. 'Great Expectations' is a story that the public can relate to because at some point, everyone goes through the struggles that Pip must battle....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays] 2500 words
(7.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Essays - Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Charles Dickens' novel Great expectations is set in the Victorian period and is highly related to the state of poverty that Dickens encountered on his rise to fame. It concerns the young boy Philip Pirrip (known as 'Pip') and his development through life after an early meeting with the escaped convict Abel Magwitch, who he treats kindly despite his fear....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays] 1420 words
(4.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Jane Austen's Great Expectations Essay - Jane Austen's Great Expectations Great Expectations is a story about the impact that money can have on people's lives. Money can change anybody and Pip was no exception. When Pip is poor he truly wants to be a gentleman, he has "great expectations" for himself. He loses friends, family and parts of himself all to be a true gentleman and forgets about the true values of life. Eventually he realises that letting money rule your life can have harmful effects. There are many themes that run through this novel....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays] 2152 words
(6.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Pip's Shadow Parents in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Essay - Pip's Shadow Parents in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Both Miss Havisham and Magwitch are powerful influences on Pip's life, in a psychological, and to some extent physical, manner. In this essay, I hope to explore these influences, and investigate what affects they have on Pip's development. Naturally, the fact that Pip is an orphan, and never knew his parents, means there is space for characters to come in and exact a definite, parental control. The novel echoes many of Dickens's own life experiences- he had a strained relationship with his parents when they were condemned to imprisonment for debt difficulties....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays] 1865 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Laws, Crime and Punishment in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Essay - Laws, Crime and Punishment in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Great Expectations criticises the Victorian judicial and penal system. Through the novel, Charles Dickens displays his point of view of criminality and punishment. This is shown in his portraits of all pieces of such system: the lawyer, the clerk, the judge, the prison authorities and the convicts. In treating the theme of the Victorian system of punishment, Dickens shows his position against prisons, transportation and death penalty....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]
:: 2 Works Cited
3284 words
(9.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Pip´s Growth in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - Pip recounts on his impression, "How much of my ungracious condition of mind may have been my own fault, how much Miss Havisham's, how much my sister's, is now of no moment to me or to anyone"(Dickens 111). In the novel, Great Expectation, the speaker of the novel is the main protagonist, Pip, who is reflecting back on his life. As Pip retell the story of his youth and the life-altering events that causes him to become a wise and mature person, Pip is acknowledging how the changes in his life are not solely relying on a particular person or event....   [tags: Boyhood, Society, Mistakes]
:: 1 Works Cited
1632 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Pip's Excpectations in Jane Austen's Great Expectations Essay - Pip's Excpectations in Jane Austen's Great Expectations In the novel 'Great Expectations', the central character Pip has many expectations thrust upon him by others, as well as himself, from a very early age. What do we discover about these expectations and the characters who 'demand' great things of Pip and does he live up to the expectations of himself and others. In the novel 'Great Expectations', many characters have expectations in Pip....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays] 768 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Great Expectations Essay - Great Expectations Is Great Expectations the story of the becoming of a snob. Phillip Pirrip or commonly know as Pip, a young orphan living with his sister and her husband in the marshes of Kent, sits in a cemetery one evening looking at his parents' tombstones. Suddenly, an escaped convict springs up from behind a tombstone, grabs Pip, and orders him to bring him food and a file for his leg irons. Pip obeys, but the fearsome convict is soon captured anyway. The convict protects Pip by claiming to have stolen the items himself....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays] 2924 words
(8.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]