The theme of isolation in "Great Expectations" through Miss Havisham.

Essay by superier1High School, 11th gradeA, October 2005

download word file, 12 pages 5.0

Question: How does Dickens in his portrayal of Miss Havisham explore the theme of isolation?

The oldest of eight children, Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. Dickens experienced a very traumatic childhood which included the ordeal of seeing two of his brother pass away. John Dickens, his father, worked as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office, due to his occupation, the Dickens family had to move a lot. Financial problems led to the imprisonment of John Dickens, who couldn't afford to look after all his family. The whole of Charles Dickens' family soon followed in suite, except for Charles himself though. Instead Charles was taken out of school and made to work in a filthy warehouse, sticking labels on bottles of boot-black for long hours.

Dickens lived from 1812 till 1870, during this period; the justice system in England was very harsh. At the age of sixteen, Charles saw this through his own eyes, working as a court reporter.

During this period there was also a colossal division between the rich and the poor. Due to the industrial revolution, the poor worked for long hours, enduring much hardship, yet earning very little. In contrast, the rich lived in lavishness and, unlike the poor, could actually enjoy life. One can describe the situation at the time as- the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Also during the 19th century, women were treated very badly, they were expected to stay at home and 'serve' their husband, and they were also put under immense pressure to get married.

It was Charles Dickens' firm belief that the spilt between the rich and the poor had produced a 'diseased' and 'unhealthy' society. Dickens' usually expressed his own experiences in life, and his moral views through writing. Many of his novels...