Great Expectations Thesis

Categories: Great Expectations

Charles Dickens used Miss Havisham as a sign of theoretical imprisonment. Miss Havisham; although not being physically sent to prison as Abel Magwitch, was a strong representation of a psychological jail time. She was never informed to remain locked up in her home rotting away and torturing herself for several years with no human interaction besides that of her step-daughter Estella and ultimately Pip. She not just physically imprisons herself however mentally she imprisons her mind into the state of being that all men must suffer, not only trapping herself into an unstable mind set however trapping her daughter as well.

Firstly the obvious physical jail time, she remains in her home locked in with her wedding memories: being the “regret of the criminal activity”. Miss Havisham sits alone in her home gazing at these wedding event items that any sane females would have ripped up and destroyed in moments. She’s simply simmering in her despair. Miss Havisham’s heartache is what keeps her in her estate: the “guards of the jail”.

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She lays alone due to the fact that of the pain she’s sensation. She’s not able to leave from the discomfort and hypothetically “the guards.” Lastly Estella: “The sentencing of the criminal offense.” Miss Havisham raised Estella to dislike guys and crush their hearts, in the end Estella squashed Pip’s heart and Miss Havisham couldn’t think what a monster she had actually produced. Miss Havisham had to deal with the truth that now she was the monstrous ruthless male that when broke her heart.

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In addition, all of Miss Havisham’s clocks have been stopped at precisely 9:20, she has imprisoned herself in the past in a theoretical way. Being that 9:20 was when her fiancé left her at the altar. She’s painfully reminding herself of the minute of her heartbreak. Being stuck in this moment has caught her mentally so she can only feel that terrible anxiety from her heartbreak. In a method she’s frozen in the past and reluctant to leave: jail time.

The Satis House: Miss Havisham’s “prison” in a way reflects her feelings. “Miss Havisham’s house, which was of old brick and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it. Some of the windows had been walled up; of those that remained, all the lower were rustily barred” (55). When first presented this description one’s mind should think of a prison. This description of the house shows being neglected and not cared for, in a way this shows how Miss Havisham must have felt when Compeyson left her at the aisle. Miss Havisham’s feelings then reflect upon the house as a prison.

In summation, Miss Havisham is a strong symbol of imprisonment in “Great Expectations” because of the many different physical and emotional imprisonments she’s gone through in her life. Miss Havisham’s whole life was a very depressing gloomy mess and she spent much of her life trapped with nowhere to turn. Her dress being burned and set in flames gave her freedom and eventual peace. This being the obvious freedom after imprisonment.

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Great Expectations Thesis. (2016, Dec 16). Retrieved from

Great Expectations Thesis

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