Great Expectations--Parents Molding Children After Their Own Expectations

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Dickens’ Great Expectations portrays the lives of different people throughout various levels of society and how they all react to their own condition. The past is always haunting the characters’ lives and, in most cases, it even determines the course of their future existence. It is inevitable to see in the story how some characters, playing the role of parents, define the lives of others, especially children, causing indelible consequences. Thus parents must not mold children after their own purposes and expect them to be someone different from whom they truly desire to be. This is one of the major mistakes we see in the novel made by characters such as Miss Havisham and Magwitch, who pretend to outline the lives of others.

Pip’s life has always been influenced and affected by various people. Some want the best for him and others the worst. His parents died since he was very young and this forced him to live with his aunt and uncle. The fact that he lived most of his life without his biological parents is important because it allowed other people to raise him up. Eventually, his life was completely transformed when someone decided to expect great things from him. First of all, we meet Mrs. Joe, an oppressive, unaffectionate, self-righteous woman who is always congratulating herself for having taken care of Pip and for being the only responsible one who “brought him up by hand” (Dickens 27). We could assume that this term refers to the difficulties she encounters as she fulfills the role of being a mother to Pip. It was not an easy job, especially because Mrs. Joe didn’t have any other children and so didn’t know what motherhood really was. It is very probable that Mrs. Joe was also beaten up as a child and brought up by hand. As a result she is doing the same thing with Pip instead of learning from the past and improving the next generation. Thus since the beginning of the novel Dickens shows us how some adults are molding children after their own...
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