Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations is a novel written by Charles Dickens that illustrates a strong relationship between parents and children. Dickens himself had a very tough life, his father was imprisoned and he had to work starting at a very young age. The title “Great Expectations” fits him well as Dickens always wanted to go far in life and break out of the working class. The novel is set in Victorian England, where major social changes were taking place within the country. Many children would work up to sixteen hours a day trying to earn enough money to help support their parents. The main theme that Great expectations seems to suggest about parents is that they are not always there, and if they are there they may be unsatisfactory.
Several of the main characters in Great Expectations grow up with the absence of their parents. Pip is an orphan who only knows his parents from their gravestone. “As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them. (1) He does not even have a photograph of his parents to show him what they looked like. Mr. Joe who is the “Angle In The House” along with Magwitch would be the substitute parents to Pip. Magwitch becomes Pip’s secret benefactor establishing Pip with a steady income, while Mr. Joe offers him sincerity and kindness. The fact that Joe forgave Pip after he was so rude to him after traveling to London, illustrates a strong parental bond between the two, because parents should always forgive their children. Although Estella has grown up with the physical support from Miss Havisham, she is also living with the absence of her real parents. Estella is manipulated by Miss Havisham’s inability to love, which ends up taking a toll on her. Estella even admits to Pip that she d...

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...tten into trouble with the law before. It seems that without parental stability, kids are faced with choices that they would normally be able to make with the help of a parent. But when you take the parental figure out of the picture, these kids are not able to properly evaluate their actions, which may lead to doing something irrational.
Overall it is very important to have a strong parental figure in your life as you develop throughout life. Without a strong parental figure, it will make life harder and more challenging for that child as he grows throughout life. Pip, Magwitch, and Estella were all characters in the novel that grew up without their parents. While Estella and Pip are given substitute parents, some characters such as Clara and Herbert had unsatisfactory parents. This absence of parental stability affected these characters in one-way or another.

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