Symbols, images, and places of great expectations

Essay by ajparkHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2004

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Study Guide for English

Finals Spring 2004

Great Expectations - Symbols, Images, Places

Note: Symbols, images, and places all tie in together - they all symbolize something in a different way. For specifics, they are labeled S, I, and P. Sorry for the mess - just wrote it as it came.

1. Statis House (SP) - Pip's romantic view of the upper class. A mansion in which every thing that inhibits it seems unnatural. The name itself means "enough" (see page 49). Estella says: "It meant, when it was given, that whoever had this house, could want nothing else." A weird but interesting take on this was "sadist", one who takes pleasure in another's failure.

2. Wedding Dress/Feast (SI) - the decay of something that was once glorious. Miss Havisham's past. Miss Havisham's denial to the future. Her "death". Sorrow, but also anger at all men. Lack of love and companionship that meals usually represent.

3. The clocks stopped (SI) - also Miss Havisham's attempt to stop time.

4. Hands (S) - Jaggers tries to pretend that he is not involved when he is. He keeps washing his hands furiously. Also, Pip has "common labouring boy" hands at first, which he keeps referring back at them to remind him of what he "really" is.

5. Estella's kiss after Pip fights Herbert (SI) - (society's) reward for a violent deed. Even though Pip feels guilt in smacking Herbert, he feels rewarded with Estella's kiss. This may (or not) foreshadow Pip's lack of center: he puts Herbert at the back of his mind as he will put Joe at the back of his mind later on.

6. Mrs. Joe (S) - Joe and Pip are submissive to the lady of the house, as Pip is "submissive" to...