Imprisonment in the Novel Great Expectations

Topics: Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, Miss Havisham Pages: 2 (687 words) Published: June 28, 2008
Imprisonment is a lack of any kind of freedom. In Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations there are many examples of imprisonment. Dickens created the characters Estella, Herbert, and Molly with a lack of freedom. These three characters were imprisoned because they could not make their own choices.

Estella had very little freedom. Miss Havisham controlled every aspect of her life. She was forced to carry out Miss Havisham's revenge on men, and she tortured Pip only because she had been raised and told to do so. The first time they met, Miss Havisham told her to break Pip's heart and Estella relentlessly picked on him. She made Pip cry because he felt so bad about being common, and he devoted his life to becoming a gentleman because of her influence. Miss Havisham made Estella go to a distant boarding school. She probably did this just so that Pip couldn't see her. As soon as she got back, Miss Havisham forced her to live with Mrs. Brandley, a complete stranger, so that she would become acquainted with other people. Pip had to escort Estella most of the time when she traveled. She had to give her purse to Pip and he had to do everything that Miss Havisham said to do. Estella could make very few choices for herself because she was Miss Havisham's puppet.

Herbert was a character who was imprisoned. The counting house was a prison for him. He worked there for next to nothing and he was in debt most of the time. By working at the counting house, he couldn't fulfill his dream of having his own shipping company. Because of his lack of financial freedom, he could not start his own business no matter how much he saved. Herbert was imprisoned by his easy nature and pride. Pip's lavish habits led Herbert into debt. Because Pip lived with him, he spent money on things that he knew he could not afford. This unnecessary spending drove Herbert further into debt. Pip would have gladly taken on some of the extra expenses caused by his living there, but...
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