Charles Dickens' Great Expectations as a Fairy Tale
There are many ways in which Great Expectations resembles a fairy tale, such as the themes- poor people receiving riches, the moral reasons, - do good unto others and you shall be repaid. During Victorian times stories were used mainly for morals purposes.
One of the main reasons why resembles a fairy tale is due to its characters
Great Expectations has many characters that reflect the
characteristics of those in fairy tales.
Some of these fairy tale characteristics are found in Miss Havisham.
In chapter eight, when Miss Havisham first appears, she seems to take on the aspect of a fairy godmother, but yet, she still seems to come across as a distorted figure.
In chapter eleven, Pip tells how she placed her hand upon his shoulder,
“…She looked like the witch of the place.” This shows Miss Havisham to be the wicked witch of the story.
Chapter fifteen, in this chapter of the book we learn about the ‘morose journeyman’ and the sort of tales he told Pip.
“…the devil lived in a black corner of the forge, and that he knew the fiend very well: also that it was necessary to make up the fire, once in seven years, with a live boy, and that I might consider myself fuel.”
The horror stories Pip was told throughout his childhood are threaded into the texture of the novel through various images, and at this point in the book, Miss Havisham represents the witch, but she is also fulfilling the role of the fairy Godmother.
Another witchlike character in the book is Mrs. Joe.
Estella is another character ‘type’ that you would find in a fairy tale.
She comes across as the princess of the story.
When we first meet Estella she comes across as mean, and cold hearted which is due to being brought up by Miss Havisham. As we get further into the story we begin too fell sorry for Estella, as she has lived all her life with a ‘witch’. She now seems to be the doomed princess; however, in chapter 29, it seems as if Estella will no lunge be the doomed princess.
”… in short, do all the shining deeds of the young Knight of romance, and marry the princess.”
This chapter shows that Pip believes he can rescue Estella from Miss Havisham and live a happy life with her.
Orlick and Magwitch represent the ogre type character that you would find in a fairy tale.
In chapter fifteen we learn how Pip feels that Orlick dislikes him fro some unknown reason. “…Drew out a red-hot bar, made at me with it as if he were going to run it through my body,”
In Great Expectations, Joe comes across as the loyal, servant type character that will always be faithful.
In chapter thirteen, Joe invents a tale to put Mrs.Joe in a good mood, and he is also and he does not want her to fell left out.
Joe is the type of character that will put others before himself as he is always aiming to please.
Great Expectations contains many fairytale like themes, such as Pip receiving riches when he reaches a certain age.
Pip believes that Miss Havisham has given his riches to him, however later on in his life he realises that they actually came from Magwitch, the escaped convict that he helped.
The themes in this part of the book are the thought of a poor boy/person becoming rich and that helping others or the less fortunate you will be repaid in the future when you least expect it. Another theme in this part of the book could be the thought of there being lots of surprises and coincidences.
Pip falling in love with Estella is also another theme in Great Expectations.
This gives the impression that Pip has fallen in love with someone above and someone that it’s almost impossible for him to get with.
Miss Havisham purposely makes Pip fall in love with Estella so that she can break his heart and make him feel worthless
The first impressions of...