Great Expectations

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The Feeling of Home

Home in today’s society can be described in many ways, but is ultimately expressed as more of a feeling of safety and love. Sonsyrea Tate claims "You can leave home all you want, but home will never leave you." In essence, the feeling of home is a part of the character and who he/she will become. In Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, Pip examines the true meaning of home and how the subjective opinion of home can reflect who a person becomes. He illustrates this idea using recurring appearances of home-like symbols, the way Pip’s definition of home changes throughout the novel, and how he shows Pip’s acquired feelings after moving into higher society.

Throughout the novel Pip experiences many obstacles and in these are constant symbols that hint at a sense of “home” that Pip could be missing. When Pip is in a frustrating situation he looks to where everything first began which ends up being where he grew up- the mist over the marshes. This mist to Pip could be to most people as their home, kitchen, or even office where they feel most comfortable. He looks to the marshes for reassurance in what is right or wrong. He searches the marshes numerous times for what seems to be answers, “once again, this mists were rising as [Pip] walked away. If they disclosed [him], as [he] suspect[ed] they did, [he] should never come back" (286). When people are confused or frightened, they usually run to where they feel safest and can reassure themselves with what they think is best. This place for many is home. Just as Mrs. Joe continuously reminds Pip of how he needs to be better, the marshes are a continuous reminder of where Pip should be. This could be shown to many as a feeling of homesickness, an emotion many can relate to. Whenever Pip has the moment to think, he ponders how he should reach out to Joe and his past reminding him again that he should be around those who love him. As Pip sits and ponders to himself he thinks “…and liable to be taken...
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