Showing posts with label British Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label British Fiction. Show all posts

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Symbolic Setting or the Significance of the Setting of 'Great Expectations'

The setting establishes the mood in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. The opening pages of the novel set a gothic mood. Charles Dickens opens the story with a young boy in a graveyard. It is dark, dank and terrifying, and "growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry is Pip.Then, an evil convict pops out at Pip threatening his life unless he brings him food and a file. The dark, creepy graveyard sets the evil scene for this to occur. Miss Havisham is an evil woman who lives in a house "of old brick, and dismal, and had many iron bars to it." This sets an eerie and strange mood to the story and almost a feeling of wonder, for who would live in a house like the one described. The mood of the story is often set by the setting, as was the case in this novel.

The setting can tell many characteristics about the character that lives within. Charles Dickens creates settings that are like subtle characters. Though not named, these "characters" have a big impact on the story. Pip's kind brother-in-law, of which he lives with, was a blacksmith. "Joes forge adjoined our house, which was a wooden house, as many in our country were." (671). Pip's family is a common one.

They do not have an exquisite home or a great deal of money, they were just like everyone else: common. Joe's forge is a good place. Joe says that there is always room at the forge for Pip though his sister wished to turn him away. The forge tells of Joe's warmth and kindness. Though he may be average, he has a big heart. Miss Havisham is an evil person, who lives in the past. Her house is also evil. "the first thing I noticed was the passages were all dark, and only candle lighted us." (688). Her home is dark and invested with old, dreadful memories that haunt Miss Havisham. These memories turn her evil. Estrella is a young girl that lives with Miss Havisham. She carries the candle through the dark passages, so she is even the slightest bit good, though she hurts Pip emotionally, physically, and mentally. The setting can tell the reader much about a character.

The setting of a story can further or support the theme. One theme in Great Expectations is that even a good person will do evil things when exposed to evil. Pip is a young innocent boy who is scared into stealing from his family by an evil convict. This happens on the graveyard, an evil place, where a good young boy begins to loose his innocence. Estrella is a young girl who lives with Miss Havisham, an evil person.

Miss Havisham's home is dark and the only light comes from a candle that Estrella carries. This symbolizes that Estrella is the only good in the house even though she is now almost fully corrupted by the dark enveloping her candle, Miss Havisham. She enjoys abusing Pip even when she realizes he likes her. She hits him and puts him down, telling him that he is common. Miss Havisham tells her to break his heart and she accomplishes this goal. Miss Havisham corrupts the innocent Estrella. The setting supports the theme of a good person will do evil acts when exposed to evil.

The setting is an important part of a novel. It helps the story progress. The setting helps the reader visualize where and when the story takes place. The setting establishes the mood of the entire story. Charles Dickens uses places like characters that tell about the inhabitant. The setting is also used to advance the theme. The setting of a story plays an important part in the narration of a story.

Picture of the Victorian Society in Great Expectations

Great Expectations reveals Dickens’s dark attitudes toward Victorian society such as its inherent class structure, flaw of judicial system, contrast between rural and urban England and immorality of high class. In Great Expectations, he also depicts several educational opportunities that highlights the lack of quality education available to the lower classes.

Throughout Great Expectations, Dickens explores the class system of Victorian England, ranging from the most wretched criminals (Magwitch) to the poor peasants of the marsh country (Joe and Biddy) to the middle class (Pumblechook) to the very rich (Miss Havisham). It is not only that there were several classes, but there also existed class distinction or class consciousness. The people of the upper class, so called gentleman did not mix with the people of the lower class. It is seen through Pip’s uneasiness on Joe’s arrival at London.

This is Dicken’s sharp criticism that a fake Victorian gentleman Pip becomes ashamed of his old childhood friend Joe’s presence at his lodging in London. When Biddy, by writing a letter, informs Pip that Joe is coming at London, Pip cannot be happy: rather a growing discomfort seizes him. Inwardly, he does not hope Joe’s coming to meet him at London where Pip lives with a sophisticated society. Pip’s snobbishness rises to such an extent that he once thinks that if it would be possible, he could bid Joe away offering him some money. When Joe meets him, Pip shows a cold and disinterested attitude to him. He feels a sense embarrassment for Joe’s clumsy behavior, loose coat, and old hat. However, Joe clearly recognizes Pip’s treatment of him, and decides not to settle down in his room for the night. Similarly, Pip’s snobbery is obvious when he, on visiting his home town, does not settle down on the smithy with Joe, rather takes a room at an inn.

The shocking fact was that the people of the higher class or gentlemen also got the different treatment from the judicial system. They were highly punished, while the people of the lower class got the comparatively harsh punishment. Magwitch fell a victim to injustice and ruthlessness of law enforcing agency. They passed a harsher punishment (14 years imprisonment) for Magwitch than the original villain Compeyson (7 years’ imprisonment) simply because Magwitch had previous records of criminal activities while Compeyson seemed a gentleman with good and upper social lineage.

A marked difference existed between the rural and urban England. The lives of the rural people were still very simple. They were honest and caring. But the people of the city like London became complicated as well as complex. For example, pip has arrived in the metropolis and has taken a look around. He is not much impressed by the locality in which Mr. Jaggers has his office. He finds this locality called “Little Britain,” to be full of filth. Mr. Jaggers office is itself a most dismal place.

The housekeeper, a woman of about forty, kept her eyes attentively on her master all the time that she was in the dining-room. Pip also noticed that, during the dinner. Jaggers kept everything under his own hand and distributed everything himself. In the course of the dinner, Jaggers, a shrewd lawyer as he was, extracted whatever information he wanted from each of his guests.

The picture of rural England, is given through the Joe’s family. In the opening chapter we find, an orphan boy, named Pip who lives with his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, who is married to the blacksmith, Joe Gargery. The family, consisting of the blacksmith, his wife, ad the latter’s little brother Pip, lives in the marsh country, down by the river, within twenty miles of the sea.

People specially the members of the upper class became immoral. A number of characters in Great Expectation are dominated by a greed for money. When Pip goes o Miss Havisham’s house for the second time, he finds a number of Miss Havisham’s relatives there. He calls those relatives “toadies and humbugs”.

Herbert Pocket- Herbert Pocket is a member of the Pocket family, Miss Havisham's presumed heirs.

Camilla –Camilla is an ageing, talkative relative of Miss Havisham who does not care much for Miss Havisham but only wants her money. She is one of the many relatives who hang around Miss Havisham "like flies" for her wealth.

Cousin Raymond -Cousin Raymond is another ageing relative of Miss Havisham who is only interested in her money. He is married to Camilla.

Georgiana - Georgiana is another aging relative of Miss Havisham who is only interested in her money.

Sarah Pocket- Sarah Pocket is one of her relatives who are greedy for Havisham's wealth.

All those relatives are seeker after money. They all expect monetary advantages from Miss Havisham. They all visit her on her birthday in order to win her favor. The inwardly hate her because of her prosperity. Their visit to Miss Havisham is based on greed, hoping to please her enough to be given some of her money at her death.

Miss Havisham is the victim even of her lover’s greed for money. Her lover robbed her of a lot of money and then deserted her. Miss Havisham has learned that the possession of money is no guarantee of avoiding cruelty and unhappiness.

Mercenary attitude of people is reflected through Miss Havisham's relatives. Her relationship with her relatives is based on money and power. They may conceive enough hate for her but cannot refuse to have undue advantages from her. The greed of these persons also portrays the materialistic society of that time.

Through his portrayals of teachers in Great Expectations, Dickens symbolized the varied educational opportunities and what they offered. Mr. Wopsle’s great aunt illustrates the lack of education available to the working class. Like the education she offers, this old dame is "ridiculous," "of limited means," "and unlimited infirmity". She is so insignificant, that she has no name. This emphasizes the insignificant amount of knowledge she offers her students. Just as she is a distant relative of a church clerk, her school is a distant relative of the church’s attempts at educating the poorer class.

Other educational options existed in Victorian England but were reserved for those who could afford it. Pip is elevated to one such opportunity when a mysterious benefactor pays for his "gentleman’s education." Matthew Pocket illustrates this type of education. As indicated by its tutor’s name, this genre of education was reserved for those who had "full pockets." Unfortunately, it was bestowed upon many who would find little use for it. These "gentlemen" were not expected to work. Mr. Pocket, a Cambridge graduate, provides a scholarly education that like his own pursuits leads to "loftier hopes" that often fail (185; ch. 23). This type of education produced self-serving individuals who offered no benefit to society. It costs a great deal of money for Pip to "contract expensive habits" (197; ch. 25). His expensive habits put him in debt, yet his scholarly education leaves him "fit for nothing" (316; ch. 41). Almost a comical situation, if you are not living it. Even an expensive education yields very little benefit for Pip and society. 

Great Expectations was a magic mirror for England’s Victorian society. In Great Expectations, Dickens provides a vivid picture of the working-class struggles with the existing educational opportunities.

Use of Dramatic Elements in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

The novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has several characteristics of a drama. The novel shares such leading qualities of a drama as dialogue, character development, plot, theme, action and dramatic irony. The use of these dramatic devices makes the novel interesting to read.


The novel opens with dialogue. It provides the substance of the play. Dialogue is used to show the characters speaking directly to each other which give the reader access to the thoughts and emotions of the characters. It grows intimacy between characters and audience.

“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day, “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?”

All of Austen’s many characters come alive through dialogue. Long, unwieldy speeches are rare and in their place, the reader hears the crackle of quick, witty conversation. True nature reveals itself in the way the characters speak: Mr. Bennet’s emotional detachment comes across in his dry wit, while Mrs. Bennet’s hysterical excess drips from every sentence she utters. Austen’s dialogue often serves to reveal the worst aspects of her characters—Miss Bingley’s spiteful, snobbish attitudes are readily apparent in her words, and Mr. Collins’s long-winded speeches carry with them a tone-deaf pomposity that defines his character perfectly. Dialogue can also conceal bad character traits: Wickham, for instance, hides his rogue’s heart beneath the patter of pleasant, witty banter, and he manages to take Elizabeth in with his smooth tongue. Ultimately, though, good conversational ability and general goodness of personality seem to go hand in hand. Pride and Prejudice is the story of Darcy and Elizabeth’s love, and for the reader, that love unfolds through the words they share.


The plot of a drama involves unexpected turns, suspense and climax. In pride and Prejudice we find some turning points which motivate the novel such as Darcy and Elizabeth’s first meet at the Meryton ball. Darcy’s Pride arouses Elizabeth’s prejudice. Darcy refuses to dance with Elizabeth upon Bingley’s request, saying that Elizabeth is no handsome enough to tempt him. Elizabeth hears this comment and greatly hurt. She immediately takes a view about Mr. Darcy that he will be a man of arrogant personality.

However through the Bingely-Bennet friendship Darcy and Elizabeth are brought into each other’s company. Again Jane’s illness at Netherfield brings the two together again. And it is the beginning of his admiration for her.

Now the audience becomes suspicious when Mrs. Bennet’s garrulous vulgarity turns Darcy away from his interest in Elizabeth and leads him to take the docile Bingley to London. Moreover Elizabeth’s initial prejudice is deepened by the smooth lies of Wickham against Darcy. She accepts at face value everything that Wickham says about Mr. Darcy. Mr. Wickham professes to be discrete and hints that he would not defame anybody’s character, but he defames Darcy. Elizabeth would not have tolerated such a conversation if anybody except the disagreeable Mr. Darcy were the subject of the talk. As a result, Elizabeth forms an even more unfavorable opinion about Mr. Darcy than she had formed before. Her prejudice turns into hatred.

As an another principal turning point the two meet again when Elizabeth is visiting Charlotte Collins and Darcy is visiting his aunt Lady Catherine at Rosings. Darcy’s old interest is revived with increased fervor.

Now we see the struggle in Darcy’s mind between his pride and love for Elizabeth with the handicaps of such relations as Collins, Lydia, Kitty, Mary, Mrs. Bennet and the inferior family connection with trade. Love wins enough of a victory to bring him to the point of proposing.

The chief climax of the main story occurs when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth at Rosings and is refused. Darcy constantly emphasizes the struggles and obstacles that he had to overcome in order to make him this step. Rather than emphasizing his love, he constantly refers to all the obstacles which he has had to overcome. This proposal completely stuns Elizabeth. She thinks that Mr. Darcy is only seeking a wife who is so inferior as to be ever grateful for a chance to be his wife. She rejects his proposal without least hesitation and she gives her reasons for her refusal. She mentions his past ill- treatment to Mr. Wickham and she tells him that he was responsible for breaking up between Jane and Bingley. And finally she accuses him not behaving in a gentleman- like manner. The denouement is reached with his second proposal and this time acceptance.

On the very next day, Mr. Darcy hands over to Elizabeth a letter which contains a defense of him against the charges which she had leveled against him. There is much logic in this defense and Elizabeth is deeply affected by it. She is forced to acknowledge the justice of his claims as regards Wickham, his criticism of her family and even his claims concerning Jane. She comes to a self realization. Suddenly, she cannot remember anything that Mr. Darcy has ever done which was not honorable and just, while Mr. Wickham has often been imprudent in his comments. Previously, she had called Jane blind, and now she has gained a moral insight into her own character and sees that she has also been blind. Consequently, Elizabeth’s character increases in depth as she is able to analyze herself and come to those realizations. This self- recognition established her as a person capable of changing and growing.

Meanwhile, the youngest Bennet, Lydia, rushes into an ill-advised romance with Wickham, an officer who at first appears charming and trustworthy. Wickham fails in a ruthless attempt to marry a rich northern woman and impulsively elopes with the naive Lydia. The 16-year-old girl speaks recklessly, acts offensively, and must gratify her impulses instantly. Lydia fails to see that running off with Wickham scandalizes her family.

Darcy shows his true mettle by secretly helping Charles return to Jane, by ensuring that Wickham and Lydia return to Longbourn as a married couple with an income, and by proposing again to Elizabeth with new humility. Shamed, Elizabeth recognizes many of her misjudgments and accepts Darcy's proposal. Their personalities soften and blend beautifully.

Another coincidence brings Elizabeth and Darcy at Pemberly House. He is very warm and friendly and inquires of her family. There is no trace of haughtiness in the manner in which he now talks to her and to her relatives. Even more, when she learns the role which Darcy has played in Lydias marriage, she becomes strongly inclined towards him.

In this changed circumstances Mr. Darcy arrives at Netherfield and proposes marriage to her. This time she gladly accepts the proposal because she has now begun to think that Mr. Darcy is truly a gentleman. He also tells Elizabeth that it was her frankness which had finally revealed to him his shortcomings. He also admits that he encouraged Bingley to propose Jane. Elizabeth also honestly confesses the change in her feelings and the two lovers are finally happy.

A plot also centers on a single interest and other sub-actions become involved to it. There is a quite compact plot in Pride and Prejudice. In Pride and Prejudice the main story of Elizabeth and Darcy runs throughout the whole narrative. Minor stories, kept under complete control, are never permitted to obtrude and are always made to contribute to the main story.

Secondary plots revolve about Jane and Bingley, Lydia and Wickham, Mr. Collins, Miss Bingley’s schemes, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The action is developed around the gradual coming together of Elizabeth and Darcy and their ultimate happiness. The secondary figures act as foils to the main characters and interact with them to help bring about the final resolution.


In a drama the characters show significant development. The characters of a drama suffer from their mistakes and finally learn many lessons. In the same way, here in this novel we also see the development of characters. The characters who mostly develop are Elizabeth and Darcy.

Jane Austen’s characters evolve the drama. Throughout the novel, the characters, like in a drama are developed gradually or step by step. They are placed in different contexts in which he encounter each other and help reveal their personalities. Darcy and Elizabeth, for example, undergrow significant changes throughout the novel.

Letter plays an important role to develop the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy.

Darcy’s first letter to Elizabeth makes her even more prejudiced against Darcy but at the same time begin to think deeply about Wickham’s previous story.

Darcy writes his first letter in such a way as if he is showing favor to her, which exhibits his pride. She rejects his proposal without least hesitation and she gives her reasons for her refusal. She mentions his past ill- treatment to Mr. Wickham and she tells him that he was responsible for breaking up between Jane and Bingley. And finally she accuses him not behaving in a gentleman- like manner. This final accusation gives a serious blow to Darcy. This is a turning point for his self realization.

Elizabeth learns lessons and changes the way she thinks about some situations. An extremely rich and famous man, one of the most sought after men in the country falls in love with Elizabeth, and although she initially rejects his proposals of marriage, thinking him too proud, does slowly fall in love with him, realizing his pride was only shyness, and they become engaged. She admits her own faults and overcomes her prejudice against Mr. Darcy and she becomes aware of her own social and emotional prejudice. When her friend Charlotte marries Mr. Collins, Elizabeth condemns the marriage as ridiculous but comes to understand and accept the position her friend was in. The marriage between Mr. Collins and Charlotte is based on economics rather than on love.

Elizabeth regards Jane as more noble and kind-hearted than herself. Jane is slightly naive, she expects all people to have pure and good motives for everything and seeks to find good in everyone. She has not shown much emotion to Bingley's advances, though she accepts them. She shows little of the same sentiment, although this is just her nature, this is what made Darcy think Jane would not be much hurt if Bingley left her. This is untrue, she suffers the loss greatly, though alone and privately.

Lydia and Wickham have each other in an unhappy and impecunious marriage. Miss Bingley’s jealous envy brings only bitterness and disappointment. Mr. Bennet’s indolence and failure as a parent brings him the pain and shame of Lydia’s elopement and Lady Catherine’s arrogance brings about her humiliation in her interview with Elizabeth and her defeat in the marriage of Elizabeth and Darcy.


The title of the novel Pride and Prejudice can be interpreted as a theme running through the novel. Pride is the feeling that one is better or more important than other people and prejudice is an adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand without knowledge of the facts. When we add these two themes together, we get this novel Pride and Prejudice.

The very basis of this book is on Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen created a world in which most of the people are guilty of Pride and Prejudice and judge each other on the basis of their pride and prejudice. But pride and prejudice are not very unusual factors in this world which is based on artificial and conventional behaviors. And Jane Austen appreciates those who can come out of their Pride and Prejudice and reject the superficial behaviors. But those who can’t discard their pride and prejudice remain the objects of ridicule till the end of the novel.

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, the two central characters of the novel, for the better part of the novel is the focus of Pride and prejudice respectively. And in the later part of the novel both Darcy and Elizabeth have come out from their Pride and Prejudice respectively.


Irony is the very soul of Jane Austen’s novels and “Pride and Prejudice” is steeped in irony of theme, situation, character and narration. Irony is the contrast between appearance and reality.

The first sentence of the novel Pride and Prejudice opens with an ironic statement about marriage, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (1). A man with a fortune does not need a wife nearly so much as a woman is greatly in need of a wealthy husband. The entire novel is really an explanation of how women and men pursue each other prior to marriage. Jane Austen uses a variety of verbal, dramatic and situational irony through the novel.

The novel is full of verbal irony, especially coming from Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet. Verbal irony is saying one thing, but meaning the complete opposite. Although Mr. Bennet is basically a sensible man, he behaves strangely because of his sarcasm with his wife. He amuses himself by pestering his foolish wife or making insensitive remarks about his daughters. Mr. Bennet cruelly mocks his wife silliness and is shown to be sarcastic, and cynical with comments as “…you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you.

In chapter 4, Elizabeth confirms her strong dislike for Darcy and criticizes Bignley’s sisters as well. She is critical of Jane for being “blind” to others. This criticism is filled with irony, because in the later part of the novel Elizabeth is blind in analyzing Darcy because of her prejudice against his pride. Shortly in the novel, Darcy grows interest in Elizabeth, but Elizabeth doesn’t notice it. Elizabeth misunderstands Darcy attraction toward her. As she was playing the piano at the parsonage, she believes that Darcy is trying to unsettle her when he stands by the piano to hear her play the piano.

Also, Darcy was blind in the beginning of the novel because he did not realize that Elizabeth possesses the qualification his future wife must have. Another dramatic irony is in chapter 39 when Elizabeth is shocked by the behavior that she sees in her family and realizes the truth Darcy has stated about the weak impression they make.

It is interesting to note that ironically, in “Pride and Prejudice”, it is the villainous character Wickham and lady Catherine – who are responsible for uniting Elizabeth and Darcy.


Another requisite of drama is action. In Pride and Prejudice there is a great deal of action, even though it is quite and seemingly unexciting. The characters of the novel do not behave in any wild or improbable way. Since the picture drawn is of everyday life and activities, it is easy for us to comprehend it and is that much more real to us.

The elements of drama, by which dramatic works can be analyzed and evaluated, are categorized into the above discussed areas. And because of the presence of these dramatic elements we can call Pride and Prejudice as a dramatic novel.

Influence of Biddy and Estella on Pip in 'Great Expectations'

In Dickens’s Great Expectations, we find throughout the novel the hero, Pip, learns through sufferings. He develops and gets maturity through society, through the development of his selfhood, and his realization of which people actually cares about him. Pip would not have to worry about any of these issues if it were not for Estella’s influence in his life. the influence of Biddy is also not less important from moral point of view.

At the beginning we see him as a naive but after meeting with Estella, Pip has completely changed. It is the turning point of his life when he first meets with her. So, Estella displays an enormous power over his thinking unlike Biddy. But the influence of Biddy is more admirable than Estella. Biddy is always pleasing to him whereas, Estella is always tormenting to him. After, the meeting with Estella Pip becomes ambitious, whereas from Biddy he gets practical preparation for his future life. So, it is seen that the influence of Biddy and Estella on Pip is very far-reaching which will be clearer in the later discussion. There are marked gaps in their 1st meeting, their family bond and their treatment with Pip. When Pip first meets with Biddy, she is presented as Mr. Wopsele’s great-aunt’s grand daughter, and helps her grandmother run the evening school. An orphan girl live Pip, she is rather bedraggled in appearance in early day, her hair always wanting brushing and her shoes mending. However, Biddy’s appearance and manner improve as she grows up. When Mrs. Joe is assaulted, Biddy moves into Joe’s household as her attendant. In this novel, she also shares the quality of compassion, simplicity, self respect etc. This dignified caring attitude of Biddy is contrasted with the self-seeking, selfishness of Estella who wishes to use or flatter Pip for her own ends.

Estella is the daughter of Magwitch, a convict, and Molly, a servant for Jaggers. Although her roots are extremely common, she is raised in nobility because M. Havisam adopts her. She is the tool of M. Havisam to destruct the male hosts. When Pip first meets her he immediately overwhelmed noticing her pretty grown hair and her manner, though she is in fact about the same age he is. She despises the coarse ways of the common laboring boy Pip, but ironically Pip falls in love with her. Before meeting with her, Pip never realizes that anything could be wrong, or that there could be anything might need to change. After the meeting, Pip now begins to question everything in life. She sets a struggle between Pip’s personal ambition and his discontent, which Biddy teaches Pip the error of his ways and shows that being common is not so bad.

Biddy is gentle, sympathetic, and kind-hearted to Pip. She is much more realistic and self-controlled in her emotions than he is and can see his faults. When on a Sunday afternoon walk on the marshes he tells Biddy that he wants to be gentleman and why she gives him sensible advice. She tells him that Estella is not worthy of his love and he should not live his life to please her. She also says that indifference can work more than an active nature or feigned love for strategic purposes. In this way, she tries her best to instill realism in Pip. On the other hand, Stella’s beauty leads him to fall indirectly into Miss Havisham’s trap and he tries to change himself to have a chance with Stella. In Pip’s youth the feelings of guilt and shame continue in his way to become a gentleman to win Estella and achieve his ambition, which leads him to enhance embarrassment for Pip. He gradually more aware and ashamed of Joe’s limitations, especially his illiteracy and his lack of social ease who is actually the best sole model he has.

Pip does not want to be seen around the forge, especially for Estella. He feels depressing particularly by the thought that Estella might see him there. Later, when Pip receives his great expiations, he automatically assumes that the expectations come from M.H. and Estella is expected in these expectations. Pip thinks that he has to become a gentleman for Estella. Because of this, he begins to look down upon Joe when Joe meets with him in London. He terms Joe as stupid and common. So, we see that because of Estella’s influence, he begins to become what he thinks a gentleman should be. But his decision proves wrong, as he starts to grow within a false modesty, gentility etc. He has become so blind by the false inspiration of M.H that he even does not see the hollowness behind it. She inspires him to love Estella. He can do nothing but follow M.H’s orders as he begins to believe that after obeying her, he will get Estella.

Pip holds on to the dream of having Estella until he finds out that she is marrying Drummle. At this moment all of his hopes for Estella are rushed. His self-deception about gentleman and his hope of getting Estella lead to another Pip. He now begins to realize what a horrible man he has become, and that he has shunned all who really care for him. His utterance: “I wish I had never left the forge” shows his moral regeneration.

At an early stage of life, when Pip is raw and unfeeling enough, he could tell Biddy that he loved her if his inspirations had not stood in the way. Now at this middle age of his life, purged by his various experiences and trials, he grows into an awareness of Biddy’s true nature. At the end of the novel, he hopes to go his old home on the marches, to marry Biddy and perhaps to return to work in the forge with Joe. Later when he finally come his village he is struck seeing that she is married with Joe. Then he realizes his own faults, that she too is a person in her own right, with her own desires and feelings. In this way, Biddy helps to reveal Pip’s growing snobbery.

At the end of the novel, we see Estella and Pip, meet at the old Satis-House when they are both very changed from their past. Pip is over Estella, out of money, and has full respect for Joe and Biddy. Estella too has learned from her sufferings and has become a wiser person, able to understand Pip.

'Great Expectations' as a Bildungsroman Novel: Pip’s Moral Regeneration

Great Expectations can be said as a study of human psychological development and a Bildungsroman novel. This is Dickens’s distinctive style plot that while developing plot structure he, at the same times, externalizes the inner workings in Pip’s psyche. To serve the purpose, his adoption of first person narration, of course, plays a good part both in developing plot and facilitating the readers to have a close glimpse of the central figure in the novel, Pip. In one sense, this grand and huge novel, voluminous can be called a work dealing with the moral regeneration of Pip.

The outliving may be like this- Pip gets a chance from an unknown benefactor (Magwitch) to be a gentleman, his original moral strength and values are dimmed/ blurred/ clouded coming in contact with a London higher class embedded in money, show, pride and revenge and false gentility. However, Pip being a snob at this time can not detect the dark side of this luxurious social class and keeps himself aloof from his real well-wishers and childhood friends like Joe, Biddy, and pays respect and homage to people like Miss Havisham, Jagger. Gradually through the novelist’s dramatic techniques of suspense, humor, dialogue and denouement, the knots of the incidents are opened and Pip recognizes his real benefactor ( Magwitch – a criminal and convict) and thus is cursed of his snobbish behavior. His moral regeneration starts. The clouds which covered his original goodness pass away and once again he enables to see man as man recognizing the proper worth of basic humanity. At last he retains his original power of morality and returns to his real friends (Joe, Biddy, and his real home, the forge).

From his early boyhood Pip was good, gentle, and morally strong. He does not show any sign of villainy and notoriety at his boyhood. His conscience always keeps awake under the proper guidance of Joe and Biddy. He develops a strong moral sense and good values. However whenever he is forced to commit an evil deed or to tell a lie; he suffers a mental disturbance. In the marsh scene, he is terrified at Magwitch’s ill treatment and he is forced to commit crimes: to steal a file and some food from his sister’s house. Under Magwitch’s threat he promises that he must do so. But after stealing food and a file, he becomes restless and uneasy. He can not get rid of his guilt feelings. He thinks that he has betrayed Joe and his sister. However, he retains his basic humanity and shows pity for an outcast by giving the file and some food and drink to him. Though Pip provided the demanded things to the convict under Magwitch’s force, Pip shows deep compassion for him. This is quite obvious when in the course of their conversation while Magwitch takes the food to the marsh, Pip confesses:

“Pitying his desolation, and watching him as he gradually settled down upon the pie, I made bold to say, `I am glad you enjoy it.'
`Did you speak?'
`I said I was glad you enjoyed it.”

Such a humble life Pip leads in the village with his great friend Joe. He is apprenticed to Joe, the blacksmith. Though he is unhappy to live with his cruel sister, he certainly had consolation as he got love and affection from Joe Gargery.

In fact, Pip’s confrontation with Miss Havisham and Estella and their circle is the turning point in the development of his personality. So, far he had been unconscious about class distinction – he was indifferent that he belonged to a “commoner’s class“. Going to the Satis House he feels for the first time in his life his inferiority complex which was absent in his simple innocent life style. The occasional visits to the Satis House, playing cards with Stella, her scorn of his coarse hands and unpolished manners made him utterly uneasy and disturbed. He lost mental peace and calm. In one hand, he becomes fascinated with Estella’s physical charm and beauty; on the other hand, he is hurt by her scorn and continual torture concerning his belonging lower social class. One seems to be at his horns of dilemma. After a long period of mental torture and frustration, he comes to the point that he must be a gentleman to win his scornful beloved.

In fact, Estella enkindled a fire in his heart to ascend to the social ladder to become a gentleman. Afterwards, Pip’s meeting with Magwitch on the marshes and his help to the latter with food and file is the turning point in Pip’s rising as a gentleman. Magwitch later on works on his project of making a gentleman of Pip through his lawyer Mr. Jaggers.

Thus, Pip has been taken to London to be brought up as a perfect London gentleman according to the wish of the convict Magwitch, his benefactor. But, Pip is kept to be in the dark concerning the supposed identity of his benefactor. However, the young man is, to some extent, feels relaxed and ease thinking that Miss Havisham is his real benefactor and Estella is supposed to be married to him. Gradually, he starts his lessons and other necessary instruction with Mr. Herbert Pocket at London. Very soon he acquires the outward appearance of a “gentleman” along with his growing snobbery. He has undergone a lot of change in his outlook. Previously, he was a commoner who became the butt of extreme scorn and criticism by Estella. Now, he thinks that he has developed a gentlemanly attitude and etiquette. He begins to feel a kind of uneasiness and incongruity for his past life with Joe and his sister at the smithy. His snobbery is made to be exposed on the occasion of Joe’s London tour.

When Biddy, by writing a letter, informs Pip that Joe is coming at London, Pip cannot be happy: rather a growing discomfort seizes him. Inwardly, he does not hope Joe’s coming to meet him at London where Pip lives with a sophisticated society. Pip’s snobbishness rises to such an extent that he once thinks that if it would be possible, he could bid Joe away offering him some money. When Joe meets him, Pip shows a cold and disinterested attitude to him. He feels a sense embarrassment for Joe’s clumsy behavior, loose coat, and old hat. However, Joe clearly recognizes Pip’s treatment of him, and decides not to settle down in his room for the night. Similarly, Pip’s snobbery is obvious when he, on visiting his home town, does not settle down on the smithy with Joe, rather takes a room at an inn. He always feels that if he took shelter at the forge, his newly developed gentlemanliness would be hurt. Thus, Pip betrays his childhood friend Joe and Biddy and his original morality is dammed for the time being. He terms Joe as stupid and common. He has grown into a false man with coming in contact with money and fortune.

Pip holds on to the dream of having Estella until he finds out that she is marrying Drummle. At this moment all of his hopes for Estella are rushed. His self-deception about gentleman and his hope of getting Estella lead to another Pip. He now begins to realize what a horrible man he has become, and that he has shunned all who really care for him. His utterance: “I wish I had never left the forge” shows his moral regeneration.

Pip also begins to spend too much money and goes into debt even with his secret benefactor giving him money. Through the novelist’s dramatic techniques of suspense, humor, dialogue and denouement the knots of the incidents are opened and Pip recognizes his real benefactor- Magwitch a criminal and convict and all his dreams are shattered. He cannot believe a criminal had been supplying him with money all this time.

His moral regeneration starts in this stage. The clouds which covered his original goodness pass away and once again he enables to see man as man recognizing the proper worth of basic humanity. Pip tries to repair all his relationships with people he mistreated and loved. Pip finds Herbert a good job even if it means Pip using some of his own money. Pip also tries to help Magwitch escape. Although Magwitch does not escape, Pip makes Magwitch happy before he dies telling him that he has a daughter and that he is in love with her. Pip also helps Miss Havisham discover the error of her ways. She is happy Pip has shown her this and would like to give Pip some money to help him with his debts. Pip does not take the offer and knows that he himself must work hard to pay off his debts. Pip then goes to his home in the marshes. Joe pays off all his debts and their relationship is now repaired. Pip also meets Little Pip, the symbol of rebirth. Pip fixed all his problems and was never again faced with them because he decided to live with the people he loved, Joe and Biddy, his family.

Pip’s behavior as a gentleman has caused him to hurt the people who care about him most. Once he has learned these lessons and matures into the man.

Friday, February 12, 2010

'Wuthering Heights' by Emile Bronte as a Class conscious Novel

The novel Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte opens in 1801 when the old rough farming culture, based on a naturally patriarchal family life, was to be challenged, tamed and routed by social and cultural changes. These changes produced Victorian class consciousness and ‘unnatural' ideal of gentility." This social-economic reality provides the context of Wuthering Heights.

The setting of the story at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange provides a clear example of social contrast. While the Heights is depicted as simply typical and "domestic," the Grange is described as a "scene of unprecedented richness" (80). Each house is associated with behavior fitting the description. For example, when Catherine is taken into the Grange, she experiences drastic changes, thus going from a "savage" to a "lady" (80). While at this house, she rises in status, learns manners, and receives great privileges such as not having to work. Heathcliff, on the other hand, learns to classify himself as a member of the lower class, as he does not possess the qualities of those at the Grange.

The struggle between social classes roughly resembles a real life conflict during this time. The reader sympathizes with Heathcliff, the gypsy who was oppressed by a rigid class system .But as Heathcliff pursues his revenge and tyrannical persecution of the innocent, the danger posed by the uncontrolled individual to the community becomes apparent. Like other novels of the 1830s and 40s Wuthering Heights reveals the abuses of industrialism and overbearing individualism,

Catherine is the daughter of Mr & Mrs. Earnshaw and Heathcliff is a pickup boy by Mr. Earnshaw from the slums of Liverpool city and is named Heathcliff Earnshaw by Mr. Earnshaw. Mr. Earnshaw’s treatment towards Heathcliff is likely a father’s treatment towards his own child. But the social contrast happens when Hindley returns to Wuthering Heights and forces Heathcliff to work in the fields.

The basic conflict and motive force of the novel is class conflict. Environment of the moor and same dwelling place gives both Cathy and Heathcliff a greater chance to develop their romantic love-affair. Both Cathy and Heathcliff love each other profoundly. But Catherine's decision to marry Edgar Linton rather than Heathcliff widens the gap between social classes. Edgar Linton is a wealthy man of high status, and Heathcliff is poor and possesses no assets. Catherine does not consider personal feelings, but instead, she focuses on her outward appearance to society. "Edgar Linton will be rich and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighborhood whereas if Heathcliff and I married, we should be beggars (81). It is obvious that wealth justifies social class, and Catherine strives to achieve high status. Cathy says to Nelley:-
“It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff, now.”’

The Earnshaw's and Linton's are part of a social class named the gentry, similar to the upper-middle class. Theirs social positions are not poor, but they try to improve their status. Another example is Heathcliff story. He begins as an orphan but moves up in status when he is adopted by Mr. Earnshaw.

Considerations of class status often crucially inform the characters’ motivations in Wuthering Heights. Catherine’s decision to marry Edgar so that she will be “the greatest woman of the neighborhood” is only the most obvious example. The Lintons are relatively firm in their gentry’s status but nonetheless take great pains to prove this status through their behaviors. The Earnshaws, on the other hand, rest on much shakier ground socially. They do not have a carriage, they have less land, and their house, as Lockhood remarks, resembles that of a “homely, northern farmer” and not that of a gentleman. The shifting nature of social status is demonstrated most strikingly in Heathcliff’s trajectory from homeless waif to young gentleman-by- adoption to common laborer to gentleman again (although the status-conscious Lockwood remarks that Heathcliff is only a gentleman in “dress and manners.”)

The writer draws a complex and contradictory relationship between the landed gentry and aristocracy, the traditional power-holders and the capitalist, industrial middle classes, who were pushing for social acceptance and political power. Simultaneously, with the struggle among these groups, an accommodation was developing based on economic interests. The area that the Brontës live in, the town of Haworth in West Riding, was particularly affected by these social and economic conditions because of the concentration of large estates ad industrial centers in West Riding.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Disordered and Destructive Relationships in Wuthering Heights

People often try to find a perfect relationship and a perfect companion. Some of them even marry without knowing what their new husband or wife is like. This kind of situation often leads to separation or hostility. Other situations may develop between two friends that stem from jealousy, desire for revenge, uncaring parents, etc. Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights displays several characteristics of destructive relationships. Three of these are uncaring parents, marriage without knowing the person, and jealousy.

Uncaring or unsympathizing parents are shown throughout this story to be an element of destructive relationships. Nelly tells Mr. Lockwood a story from Heathcliff's childhood. Mr. Earnshaw had favored Heathcliff, and he was able to get whatever he wanted. When Mr. Earnshaw gave each boy a horse, Heathcliff insisted on having the prettier one. When this one got hurt, Heathcliff tried to take Hindley's horse. Heathcliff threatened to tell father about all the times Hindley beat him, and in retaliation, Hindley hit him. Heathcliff seems to want Hindley to hit him, so he will have something to hold against him. He doesn't even need to fight back, because father will always take his side. Thus Heathcliff gained all the attention from Mr. Earnshaw, Hindley became disassociated from his father. This separation continued until after Mr. Earnshaw had died.

Another example is between Hindley and Hareton. Hindley became such a drunk and a gambler that he could not properly care for young Hareton. Even affection is violent with him, and the boy pulls away from his father's rough embrace. This led to a separation between Hareton and his father as well.

Aother primary example of an uncaring parent is shown between Heathcliff and his son Linton. Heathcliff did not even want his son for anything except enacting a part of his revenge. This is shown by Linton's fear of Heathcliff and Heathcliff's enmity toward his son. Linton even says "... my father threatened me, and I dread him - I dread him!"(244) to express his feeling about Heathcliff. The hostility and separation between father and son in this book shows that uncaring parents can cause serious damage in relationships with their children.

This element of destructive behavior may stem from an unhappy marriage in which the husbands or wives don't know each other. This had happened between Isabella and Heathcliff. Isabella did not really know Heathcliff when she married him, but after she had married him she saw that Heathcliff was not a gentleman at all. To declare her feelings she wrote " Is Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil? I shan't tell my reasons for making this inquiry; but I beseech you to explain, if you can, what I have married ..."(125). Heathcliff hangs Isabelle's dog from a tree, Another example of this is when Catherine married Edgar Linton. Although she had been happy at the beginning of the marriage, she thought having parties all the time was going to be fun. Yet, after a while, she became bored. She also realized that she loved Heathcliff more than Edgar and would always love Heathcliff. This enlightenment created separation between Edgar and Catherine during the final hours of Cathy's life. An additional marriage which was made that was doomed was the one between Catherine and Linton. Because this was a forced marriage, Cathy had not yet learned all she could about Linton. Because she did not know until after the marriage that Linton was selfish and inconsiderate, she became distressed and grew isolated in the house. These three failed marriages described in this novel show that knowing the person you will marry is very important.

While these marriages took place, jealousy also took a hold in some relationships. One example of this is when Mr. Earnshaw starts to favor Heathcliff over his own son, Hindley. Because of this, Hindley becomes jealous of young Heathcliff and sets out to make Heathcliff's life a nightmare. Hindley's jealousy becomes evident when he says ,"... be damned you beggarly interloper! and wheedle my father out of all he has; only afterwards show him what you are, imp of Satan."(35). Jealousy was also found very notably in the relationship between Heathcliff and Edgar Linton. The jealousy between them is expressed when Heathcliff and Edgar start a hostile conversation after Cathy's homecoming at Christmas near the beginning of the book. Heathcliff hates that Catherine likes him, and when Linton makes a comment about Heathcliff's hair, Heathcliff throws hot applesauce in his face. Heathcliff's violence is answered with more violence. Hindley took him upstairs and beat him, and when he came back down he told Linton that next time he should beat him himself
Hindley, crazed with the loss of his wife and his land, tells Isabella about his plan to kill Heathcliff. Every night he tries to open Heathcliff's bedroom door, and when one night it is unlocked, he plans to shoot him. He believes some kind of devil urges him to settle the score this way.

As the story progresses these two become bitter enemies who will not speak to one another. Another relationship which jealousy ruined is the one between Hareton and Linton. These two become jealous of each other over Cathy's affections. This relationship ends as Hareton and Linton hating each other. These relationships show that jealousy can ruin a relationship very quickly.

The jealousy, neglect, and unprepared nature of the many relationships in this book indicates that many of the relationships in this book have gone "sour". In spite of all these destructive elements one relationship may succeed. This is the one between Cathy and Hareton. Because there is no more jealousy or neglect, and because they are getting to know each other, their relationship has a good chance of succeeding. Because all the other failed relationships in this book containing the elements; jealousy, neglect, and ignorance concerning the nature of your companion; one can conclude that these elements will destroy any relationship.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Different Attitudes to Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

In her Pride and Prejudice, Austen is almost pre-occupied with the theme of marriage. Marriage is a crucial issue of a woman’s life. But it was more crucial for the women of her society, when women mere largely dependent on their male counterparts. So, women sought financial as well as social support through marriage. But Austen did not approve of it. In her novel Pride and Prejudice gives preference to a marriage which is based on love. In her novel, Austen presents several contrasting attitudes to marriage.The five Bennet sisters - Elizabeth, or Lizzie, Jane, Lydia, Mary and Kitty - have been raised well aware of their mother's fixation on finding them husbands and securing set futures.

There are mainly four attitudes to marriage are presented in the novel: the marriage for money, marriage for the satisfaction of bodily desires, marriage based on the physical look and marriage for love.

Marriage of Mr. Collins and Charlotte:

At first, “marriage for money”- this attitude is presented through Mr. Collins and Charlotte. Both men and women of Austen’s society had internalized the idea that women were financially and socially dependent on men. Women of that time sought men above her station only for financial security. Men also understood it.

In this regard Mr. Collins is a true production of this society. He wants to “make amends” to the Bennets girl for the entail on the property by marrying one of them. It is very ridiculous that in such a matter of marriage, he is considering only the “property” not his own prudence whether the Bennet girl is fit for him or the marriage will be a proper one.

When we look at another character of this novel namely Charlotte Lucas, we see that she is also going on the same path of the society. The union between Charlotte and Mr. Collins is a good example of this marriage that brought about entirely for economic reasons. Charlotte is pessimistic about finding happiness in marriage anyway and believes she may as well marry to guidance her financial security. To her, a woman without fortune, this is an attractive basis for marriage. She, opinion on marriage and money is cleared when she advises Elizabeth not to appear unpleasant to a rich man like Darcy, a man of ten times, for a relatively poor one like Wickham. However, she contrasts greatly with Elizabeth on this issue. Whereas Elizabeth thinks that marriage depends on mutual understanding, to Charlotte “happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.” So, when Collins offers her, she without a second thought takes it thinking that he can give her “a comfortable home,” although she does not love this ridiculous clergyman.

Marriage between Darcy and Elizabeth

Finally when we observe the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth we see Austen’s own views on money and marriage. When Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth, he presumes that she is not in a position to reject him, for his standing in society has made him quite an eligible husband. Alternatively, Elizabeth clearly has a very different thought to him: “You could not make me happy.” Actually it is Elizabeth through which Austen’s on views on marriage are clearly expressed. As Elizabeth believes that the basis for marriage should be happiness and love, not money. She is uncertain of the lasting qualities of passionate love and convinced that it is not a strong enough basis for marriage. It is based on mutual esteem, respect and gratitude, and it arises from a clear sighted understanding of the other’s character. So, she does not care about Collins’s wealth and thinks that their marriage would be a bad one because they are not attracted to each other. From Darcy and Elizabeth’s character we understand that this two people are very different, and their relationships are “rationally founded”, based on “excellent understanding” and “general similarity of feeling and taste.”

Lydia and Wickham's Marriage

Lydia’s attitude to marriage is solely based on passion and physical attraction. She elopes with Wickham. It is the basest among the attitudes of the other characters. She is totally controlled by her bodily desire and passion. She neither sought social security, nor a blissful inter-assured married life. So, her attitude can be compared to the attitude of a delinquent. When we consider Wickham’s character, we find another view on money and marriage in Austen’s time. He is such a man who can easily transfer his affections from Elizabeth to Miss King, an heiress of 10,000.

Even Wickham is not going to marry Lydia until economic settlement is happened. Later we know from Mrs. Gardiner’s letter that Darcy has to pay Wickham’s debts which are more than 1000 pounds and another 1000 pounds to settle the marriage. So, we see that money matters a great deal in the marriage between them and it is without any real passions.

As in the novel, Lydia and Wickham's marriage gradually disintegrates. Lydia becomes a regular visitor at her two elder sisters’ home and “her husband was gone to enjoy himself in London or Bath."

Marriage of Jane Bennet and Bingley:

When the news comes that Mr. Bingley, a young gentleman with an annual income of 5,000 Pounds will be their new neighbor; Mrs. Bennet immediately plans to pair him with her favorite oldest, prettiest daughter-Jane. Eldest daughter Jane, serene and beautiful, seems poised to win Mr. Bingley's heart. However, unlike Darcy and Elizabeth, there is a plan in their relationships. Jane and Bingley have made their wise choice, and though their courtship has suffered temporary, they are very happily married. Of course, economic security also is there.

Marriage of Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet:

Although little is told of how Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet got together, it can be inferred of their conversations that their relationship was similar to that of Lydia and Wickham. Mr. Bennt had married a woman he found sexually attractive without realizing she was an unintelligent woman. Mrs. Bennet's favouritism towards Lydia and her comments on how she was once as energetic as Lydia reveals this similarity. Mr Bennet's comment on Wickham being his favourite son-in-law reinforces this parallelism.

The effect of the relationships was that Mr. Bennet would isolate himself from his family, he found refugee in his library or in mocking his wife. Mr Bennet's self-realization at the end of the novel in which he discovers that his lack of attention towards his family had lead his family to develop the way they are, was too late to save his family. Austen says about Mrs. Bennet: "she was a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temperament, the business of her life was to get her daughters (P-7) marry.

Through these different attitudes to marriages, Austen tries to give us an important moral lesson. The lesson is that marriage based on other things except love cannot give us a good result. Out of the five marriages of the novel, only the marriage between Elizabeth and Darcy and Jane and Bingley bring true happiness. On the other hand, the other marriages only bring sufferings and humiliations for both husband and wife.

Love Relation between Catherine and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights

The central theme of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff. The problem of the bond between Cathy and Heathcliff and its significance remains the central mystery of the novel till the very end. In fact, the novel is a revengeful love story of Heathcliff, the protagonist.

Catherine is the daughter of Mr & Mrs. Earnshaw and Heathcliff is a pickup boy by Mr. Earnshaw from the slums of Liverpool city and is named Heathcliff Earnshaw by Mr. Earnshaw. Mr. Earnshaw’s treatment towards Heathcliff is likely a father’s treatment towards his own child. Environment of the moor and same dwelling place gives both Cathy and Heathcliff a greater chance to develop their romantic love-affair. In addition, Cathy’s own brother, Hindley’s hostile and cruel treatments towards Heathliff fines Cathy’s love for Heathliff.

As children, Cathy and Heathcliff seem to represent the spirit of Freedom as they are rebelling against the tyrannical authority represented by Hindley. They are also rebelling against religious bigotry as represented by Joseph.

Their love exists on a higher or spiritual plane; they are soul mates, two people who have an affinity for each other which draws them together irresistibly. Heathcliff repeatedly calls Catherine his soul.

A life-force relationship is a principle that is not conditioned by anything but it. Catherine and Heathcliff's love is based on their shared perception that they are the same. Catherine declares, famously, “I am Heathcliff,” while Heathcliff, upon Catherine's death, wails that he cannot live without his “soul,” meaning Catherine.

Both Cathy and Heathcliff love each other profoundly. Yet we notice some ambiguity in both Cathy’s speech and action.

Cathy and Heathcliff are creatures of the wild moorland where conventional social standards are meaningless. After meeting with Edgar, Cathy develops an interest towards him. She now seems to be equally interested in Edgar and Heathcliff. She has not certainly given up Heathcliff. In fact she defines her brother Hindley and manages to meet Heathcliff secretly. Indeed there remains a striking contrast between Edgar and Heathcliff far as behavior, looks and refinement is concerned. And it is obvious for a sweet girl of fifteen to be in dilemma about both of them because one is her earlier love and later another appears with more redefined and behavior.

Cathy decides to marry Edgar for his social status. She decides to marry Edgar for his social standards. Indeed he is handsome, young and cheerful. But she informs Nelly, the house keeper, of her profound attachment to Heathcliff, saying

“Nelly he (Heathcliff) is more myself than I am. Whatever our sols are made of, his ad mine are the same.”

But Heathcliff who loves Cathy more than anything in his life overhears Cathy saying to Nelley:-

“It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff, now.”’

He would not hear further as he leaves with his heart which is teared up into several pieces and blood is blowing from his hear inwardly. From this context of Cathy’s speech we can have a clear notion that the love affair between Cathy and Heathliff is anti-social as Heathcliff is a pick up boy and then is no trait of his parents.

After overhearing such stuff, Heathcliff leaves the Wuthering Heights without saying anything to anybody and leaves no traces of him.

When Heathcliff has left, Cathy marries Edgar. After her marriages she understands her betrayal of her true self and as a result she is going to be sick and ill in accordance with the passing of days. After six months of their marriages, Heathcliff returns and seeing him live Cathy feels so delighted. Inspite of Edgars dismay, Cathy and Heathcliff sit looking at one another “absorbed in their mutual joy to suffer embarrassment.” Yet there is no romantic erotic infatuation.

Though she is married to Edgar, she feels an ardent love and desire for Heathcliff which is anti- social. She believes that Linton is subordinate and that Heathcliff is part of her.

In Chapter 15, Heathcliff himself burst into Cathy’s room and in a moment she was in his arms. He begins to show countless kisses on her. Then Cathy confesses that she is responsible for everything because she has married Edgar when she has actually been in love with him ( Heathcliff). She then asks him to kiss her again.

Twelve years have passed after Cathy’s death. Heathcliff suffers a lot and at the same time make others to suffer.

When Edgar Linton dies and the designs of Linton’s grave is going on Heathcliff bribes the Sexton to remove the earth of the lid of the coffin in which Cathy lay. And opening the lid of the coffin and has seen Cathy’s face again. In fact, he has, with his own hands, digs out her grave on this occasion. This he has done out of his titanic love for Cathy. But in view of social perspective, what he has done for love is really amoral.

Not only that he has also bribed the Sexton to pull away one panel of the coffin, his object being, that when he himself dies, his dead body should be buried close to Cathy’s dead body without being there any wall between them. His unfathomable love for Cathy makes him do such thing that is anti-moral.

At the end, we can say that the unalloyed love of Heathcliff turns to anti-moral as well as anti-social because of Cathy’s ambition to get social standard and his own psychological problem. In Wuthering Heights Catherine and Heathcliff’s love is a direct challenge to those social forces of family and class which tyrannize, oppress and restrict individuals and their relationship.

Jane Austen blends Realism with Romance in her Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a complex novel mixing romance with realism. Austen used a variety of features to make the novel Pride and Prejudice seem more realistic and relevant to the period of the 19th century. At the same time it has also the touch of romance.

The plot of Pride and Prejudice is like the plot of a romance. In a romance the hero comes out and frees the heroine from her casement. In context of Pride and Prejudice we can say that Darcy is the idealized hero, who comes and frees the heroine from the social bondage. In order to free the heroine, the hero has to fight with a captor or villains. In the same way Darcy has to fight with his sisters and Lady Catherine.

The social reality for women during 18th century was that it was almost impossible to survive without a man’s care, so it was typical for a young woman to live in her father’s house until she moved into her husbands. Women would not inherit or own property, and had very few opportunities to earn their own money.

Because of this social climate, the reality is that the five Bennet sisters do not have a choice about marriage. They must marry in order to secure their financial future. Their father’s estate will be inherited by their male cousin, Mr. Collins. Austen addresses the social realities of the time and also satisfies the reader’s desire for romance by having Jane and Elizabeth’s suitors not only be rich but also be dashing, attractive and moral.

Realism of characters makes the novel more believable and they also contribute to fulfill romantic appeal of the novel.

Pride and Prejudice focuses on Elizabeth Bennet, an intelligent young woman with romantic and individualistic ideals, and her relationship with Mr. Darcy, a wealthy gentleman of very high status. At the outset of the novel, Elizabeth’s loud and dim-witted mother, her foolish younger sisters, and her beautiful older sister Jane are very excited because a wealthy gentleman, Mr. Bingley, is moving to their neighborhood. The young women are concerned about finding husbands because if Elizabeth’s father, a humorous and ironical man, were to die, the estate could be left to their pompous cousin Mr. Collins. Mr.Bingley soon becomes attached to Jane while Elizabeth grows to dislike his close friend Mr. Darcy, whom the village finds elitist and ill-tempered. Under the influence of his sisters and Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley eventually moves away to London. Mr. Collins, an irritating clergyman, then proposes to his cousin Elizabeth, who refuses him. He marries her friend Charlote instead. 

Though love was certainly important, it was obvious that women were dependent upon men for financial stability and that marriage was often based more on finance and social status then love. Even the marriages that the young girls observed seemed to lack love. It demonstrates a desire for something more versus the realities of the time.

Elizabeth visits Charlotte, where she and Mr. Darcy meet again at the house of his aunt. Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, but she refuses him, partly based o her belief that he dissuaded Mr. Bingley from pursuing a relationship with Jane. In a letter to Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy explains his actions regarding Jane and Mr. Bingley, as well as the way in which he has treated his estranged childhood companion, Mr. Wickham. 

The encounter between Darcy and Elizabeth in the Darcy’s state has also the charm of a romance. Elizabeth visits Darcy’s estate with his uncle and auntie and accidentally meets Darcy. This time Elizabeth is better disposed toward him, but they are interrupted by a scandal involving Elizabeth’s sister Lydia, who has eloped with Mr. Wickham. Mr. Bennet and his brother- in –law Mr. Gardiner attempt to resolve the situation, but it is actually Mr. Darcy who resolves the situation by paying Mr. Wickham and convincing him to marry Lydia. Mr. Bingley then returns to his estate in the Bennet’s neighborhood and soon becomes engaged to Jane. Afterward, despite Lady Catherine’s attempt to prevent the engagement, Elizabeth marries Mr. Darcy.

One of the social realities explored in this book, beyond the need for a woman to secure financial security through marriage, was the importance of reputation and adhering to social standards. When Lydia runs off with Wickham, the family is distraught not only because Lydia's reputation will be hurt, but also because the entire family will be wrapped up in her disgrace. Mary's comments on the subject adequately explain the feelings of the times:

Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin; that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful;Mr. Collins' comments also show the seriousness of this breach of decency:
The death of your daughter would have been a blessing in comparison of this......had it been otherwise, I must have been involved in all your sorrow and disgrace.

When Lady Catherine comes to Elizabeth to try to scare her away from Darcy, she also uses Lydia's elopement as a serious strike against any alliance:
And is such a girl to be my nephew's sister? .... Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?"
At this time, a family could get by without riches, but it was impossible to get by without reputation.
A special emphasis has been placed on the way Austen portrays her character’s speech and thoughts. In this novel, dialogue is described as the most appropriate means in order to achieve a preferably close approach to reality. The dialogue in Pride and Prejudice is expanded with direct and indirect versions of speech. The vivacity of the character’s persona, their feelings and different tempers are perceptible through their dialogue and provide a narration that is as realistic as possible.

We also find the touch of romance in the dialogues. When Elizabeth Bennet meets the handsome Mr. Darcy, she believes he is the last man on earth she could ever marry. But as their lives become knotted in an unexpected adventure, she finds herself captured by the very person she swore to loathe for all eternity. Jane, also feel attraction for Mr. Bingley and it is also reflected through dialogue.

There are elements of conventional romance in the novel. Since the picture drawn is of everyday life and activities, it is easy for us to comprehend it and is that much more real to us.

Theme of Victimization in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations

Dickens’s novel “Great Expectations” deals with several themes and the theme of victimization is one of them. In Dickens’s world, one character becomes the victim of other character. Sometimes they are victim of society, circumstances and of law. In that sense, the novel is a socially conscious one who stands very close to reality dealing with the problems and harshness of the real world. The three major characters in the novel: Pip, Magwitch and Joe can be described in context of the theme of victimization.

Magwitch: A victim of Compeyson

Let us discuss first the character of Abel Magwitch, one of the most interesting figures. The characterization of Magwitch, of course, reveals the theme of victimization more powerfully than any other character in the novel. Really, this was Dickens’s central concern to convey the brutality and harshness of the law and society in the Victorian England by creating a dominant character who is victimized by the outer world- state, law, etc led him to early crime and punishment by an indifferent ad hostile society. However he was not a born criminal or rogue out and out. His primary criminalities involved stealing food, and other commodities, begging and such like. But Magwitch’s real criminal career commenced on with his introduction to an original criminal, comparison who at that time was engaged in dangerous felonies like forgery, passing stolen bank notes etc. Thus Magwitch has been victimized by a greater and terrible crimial, Compeyson. Compeyson exploited Magwitch for accomplishing all the enemies stated above –heinous, abominable and dangerous. He became increasingly ensnared in Compeyson’s criminal activities. Compeyson was a cruel and sophisticated villain with good social connections and Magwitch became his partner. This is how, Magwitch became a victim to the criminal world of Compeyson and Arthur, the half brother of Miss Havisham.

Magwitch: A victim of social and political systems

Moreover, the significant aspect of his victimization by society and state is the one that strikes him later on, when both Compeyson and Magwitch were captured and brought into custody. Dickens’ severe blow on social and political systems seems harder when he depicts that in times of passing verdict, Magwitch fell a victim to injustice and ruthlessness of law enforcing agency. They passed a harsher punishment (14 years imprisonment) for Magwitch than the original villain Compeyson (7 years’ imprisonment) simply because Magwitch had previous records of criminal activities while Compeyson seemed a gentleman with good and upper social lineage.

The key or major cause for Magwitch’s desire to make a “gentleman” in his being a victim to social and political injustice and viciousness. His victimization by hostile society and law affirms/ enkindles his desire for revenge on Compeyson who later became his life-long mortal foe. This motif later acts as an inspiration for which he helps recapture Compeyson even at the cost of his own recapture at the Marshes.

Magwitch: A victim of the legal system

Next, Magwitch became the victim of rigid penal and law codes of the Victoria England. It was a severe law active in that time giving death sentence to a convict who fled from the prison’s “huck.” Thus, Magwitch had to risk his life when fled from “huck” to meet his own London “gentleman”, Pip. Later Magwitch was recaptured and brought to trail and accordingly sentenced to death, but he tired, exhausted, weak and wrecked mentally and physically before the enactments of the death sentence.

Thus, through the portrayal of a convict who is no born as a criminal but a very creation of a rigid, flawed and vicious society- a society which is divided between gentlemen and convict, poor and rich, the oppressed and the oppressor, and the victimized and the persecutor.

Next the theme of victimization can be best traced in relation to Pip, the major character in the novel. Besides, Magwitch, Pip reveals the theme of victimization in his relation to other character in the novel.

Pip as the victim of his sister Miss Joe Gargery

First, Pip is the direct victim to his sister Miss Joe Gargery’s maltreatment, oppression and ruthlessness. Being victimized at the hands of his sister, Pip the orphan suffers a good deal from abuse, physical torments, rebuke and continual scorn not only from Miss Joe but also from other relations of the household: Pumblechook, Wopsle. His sister always mentions that he has been brought up “by hand’ a clever use that connotates that his upbringing included physical torture. Young Pip’s victimization at the hand of the close relatives of Mrs Gargery is evident at the dinner party given on the occasion of a Christmas Eve. At the party, every guest especially Uncle Pumblechook and Mr. Wopsle rebuked Pip and abused him without any interruption. Meantime, his sister reminds him of all the troubles and pains she has suffered to bring him up. Besides she narrates all viciousness and wicked tasks Pip has committed. Thus, from an early life Pip has been victim to abuse of other characters.

Pip as a victim of Magwitch and high ambition

Later, Pip falls a victim to Magwitch and his high ambition to make a “London Gentleman”. Magwitch is a victim to Compenson and broadly speaking to the social and political systems and in turn, Pip has been victimized by Magwitch.
The very opening of the novel shows how the grim-looking convict forces Pip to steal food and file from his forge home. Pip does what Magwitch makes him do. This is the beginning of Pip’s victimization at the hand of another victim. Afterwards Magwitch funds Pip’s upbringing and education to make him a genuine and real “London Gentleman” through Mr. Jaggars, the renowned London lawyer. According to the plan of Magwitch, Pip was taken to London to be lodged for the required instruction and education while the name of the possible benefactor remains concealed. But at one stage, Magwitch makes a tour to London to see his own made up “gentleman” Pip. Gradually all the knots of mystery are untied and it became crystal clear that the convict whom Pip met at his childhood is the rural benefactor of Pip’s fortune, not Miss Havisham as Pip had anticipated to be. All his hopes were shattered. He refused to receive no more money from Magwitch. To save the convict from being caught by the Law, Pip with the help of Herbert tried to transport Magwitch to Europe but at a failed attempt he had been caught. By the times Pip has been starting his moral regeneration from snobbery to morality.

Pip as a victim of Miss Havisham

He is also the victim of Miss Havisham’s crude and selfish desire for revenge on the whole male sex. As she has been deceived in love by her lover Compenson, is villain and original rogue. She pledged to avenge her frustration in love on the whole male sex, and Pip has become the victim of Miss Havisham’s brutal revenge. As a part of revenge scheme, she invited Pip to come down to Sati’s house to play with little Estella for her amusement. Estella acts as her weapon to take revenge on Pip. Estella continually reminds Pip of his inferior social standing, his dress, manners while Miss Havisham silently enjoys Pip’s embarrassment and predicament. Estella is lovely ad beautiful enough to charm a young boy like Pip, coming from an inferior social class. Pip is weak to her showing beauty, charm and luxury but at once he is continually reminded by Estella that he comes from a lower class. Thus Pip is tormented in the heart by Estella’s beauty, charm, scorn and rebuke and he suffers a traumatic grief emanating from his new consciousness of class distinction and from his inferiority complex. While he is receiving blow after blow from Estella, Miss Havisham’s standing at a little distance silently enjoys Estella’s crude and rough harassment of Pip. Estella’s treatment of Pip is predictable as she was made by Miss Havisham to wreck vengeance on male. The older lady turns her least into stone devoid of soft and tender human feelings. This is why; Pip is refused by Estella when he offered her. His emotive appeal and moving dialogue tongued with deep love for her can not share her stone heart a lot. Estella simply confesses that this is beyond her capability to know what it is to love and to be loved. She has no such feelings for him. She can not help herself. Thus through his life Pip suffers a great deal being victimized at the hands of Miss Havisham and Estella.

Pip as a victim of Estella and Drummle

Estella is a victim to Miss Havisham’s desire for revenge. He is also a victim of his rival suitor to Estella. Mr. Drummle, who later enables to marry her on many occasions, he acts as a weapon to unfold Pip’s soul that always craves for Estella. Drummle knew Pip’s weakness and thus he more powerfully and skillfully inflict Pip. He was a cruel, rude and pompous and savage villain in the novel. Pip suffers no less at his hand. So, Pip is also a victim to Drummle’s viciousness, cruelty and rivalry in love.

Pip as a victim of Orlick

Pip is also victimized by the apprenticed boy to Joe, Orlick who becomes a mortal enemy for his whole life. After his sister’s death caused by Orlick’s stroke on her, Pip is also attacked by him but rescued.

Pip as a victim of his own ambition

Finally Pip himself is the victim of his own ambition to become a gentleman. A desire to become a rich and sophisticated man has latent in him. Estella’s scorn and beauty and luxury have just rekindled his latent desire to become a sophisticated gentleman for winning the lovely young lady.

Joe as a victim of his wife

Now, it is the turn of Joe’s victimization at the hands of his wife, a cruel and treacherous woman. In fact, Joe’s marriage with Pip’s sister proved to be a complete mismatch. The husband and wife was quite opposite in nature and temperament. Joe Gargery was a good natured, mold and easy-going man. In contrast, his wife was a woman of hot tempered, cruel and treacherous woman who is described by Joe as a “Mogol” governing, the household and the two people- Joe and Pip with iron hand. For Joe she is a “buster” and “mastermind” who could dominate the household with her arbitrary power. When the woman is furious with anything, Joe describes her as being “on the rampage.” On many occasions, she scolded Joe as well as Pip. But Joe did not mind very much at his being scolded but he got, hurt at Pip’s abuse at her hands. He somehow could come to terms with his rude and treacherous wife as he had no other alternative to cope with this stone- hearted woman. In the true sense Joe is the real and genuine gentleman with his dignity of labor and his feelings for others. If Dickens is criticizing the show and pomposity of the Victorian gentleman, he must have emphasized on the value of real gentlemanliness in Joe not Pip or Estella. And this real gentleman also gets victimized by his wife.

Joe as a victim of his father

He is also victimized by his father in his early childhood. As he later on tells the story of his childhood, Pip, we are informed that his father was a drunk who loved in wine. And Joe and his mother became a victim to his father’s ill-treatment and abuse. In a tone mixed both pathos and humor, Joe tells Pip in spite of his father’s savage behavior, he was good at heart.

Joe as a victim of Orlick

Next he becomes a victim to Orlick’s villainy and evil design. This boy was apprenticed to be a black smith. At one occasion, he made a dangerous quarrel with Mrs. Joe and abused and insulted her. Now Joe, though embittered with her wife’s rude manners, could not tolerate the boy’s abuse of his wife. Joe made an attack on the boy and beat him. Later on, Orlick took revenge on Mrs. Joe by stroking her head leading to her sudden and instantaneous death.

Joe as a victim to Pip’s vanity and snobbery

Finally, Joe becomes a victim to Pip’s vanity and snobbery after he has gone to London on his mission to become a gentleman. This is Dicken’s sharp criticism that a fake Victorian gentleman Pip becomes ashamed of his old childhood friend Joe’s presence at his lodging in London. Joe becomes upset finding that he is not the man to stand shoulder to shoulder with Pip. He gets embarrassed at his consciousness of class distinction and decides not to be lodged in Pip’s room.

In fine, it has been proved that the theme of victimization is one of the powerful ones running on the vein of the novel’s plot structure. A character is victim to other character who, in turn is victim to another ones. This theme of victimization is line a vicious circle running in the vein of social and political structure. Victimization occurs in the novel in two ways: on the personal level between (Joe and his wife) and on the social level (Joe and society)