Revenge in the Great Expectations

Topics: Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, Estella Havisham Pages: 4 (1731 words) Published: January 16, 2013
NAME: TARYN LUU| DATE: NOVEMBER 13, 2012| COURSE: ENG4U9-A| TEACHER: K, VILCIUS Revenge is a primary theme in the novel Great Expectation by Charles Dickens. In this novel, many characters go out of their way to extract revenge, leading them to misfortunes such as death and imprisonment. Dickens makes it very clear that nothing positive can come from revenge through his characters and the results that come from their revenge. These acts range from petty resentment filled with passion, to long and drag out strife laced with malice, to lifelong vendettas driven by hatred.

Revenge comes in many forms—and for Orlick, his was the sort of petty resentment filled with passion, rather than stone cold hatred. In the novel, Orlick acts as the main antagonist; he is described as tardy, as Pip explained: “he was…never in hurry, and always slouching.” (102), and hostile, by telling Pip that “the Devil lived in a black corner of the forge…and it was necessary to make a fire once in seven years with a live boy and I might consider myself fuel.” (102). Orlick was also abusive due to his outburst at Mrs Gargery when she pose her opinion on the fact that Joe was letting both Pip and Orlick have a half-holiday by saying “I’d hold you, if you was my wife. I’d hold you under the pump and choke it out of you.” Despite being mere words, from that moment on; Orlick held a grudge on both Pip and Mrs Gargery. Orlick resented Mrs Gargery for her attitude towards him. And he resented Pip for having everything Orlick wanted; at the forge, Pip was favoured and Orlick was “bullied and beat.” In Orlick’s eyes Pip “was always in Old Orlick's way since ever you was a child.” (388) This tempts him into extracting revenge, by assaulting Mrs Gargery, he justifies his actions by telling Pip that “it was done through you,” (389) Orlick blames Pip for his misfortunes, and hates Pip to the extent that he attempted to murder him. Orlick says “I’m a going to have...
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