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Rich and Poor Theme in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

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Rich and Poor Theme in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Throughout the novel, there are many themes, one of them being rich and poor. This theme is introduced by the background description in the opening pages. In this novel the attitudes of the rich relatives, (uncle Pumblechook), are a great contrast to those of lower financial class, - Joe and Mrs. Joe. Special food is reserved for when richer relatives come around; this is a motion of respect. For the duration of the novel, Pip pursues wealth and when he finally attains it he finds it’s useless as he sees its source as ‘tainted’, his wealth is acquired through Magwich. Greed is a significant factor. During the novel, there are a lot of links comparing rich and poor, and we get representatives from both sides. Miss Havisham is rich, but lives a life of disorder, disappointment and dirt. In contrast to this, Joe is relatively poor but is incredibly comfortable and content with his life, however, his wife Mrs. Joe is desires more. Magwich becomes rich to facilitate people other than himself, - i.e. to ring Pip up into ‘a gentleman’. Although Joe is poor and at ease, poor is not good in itself as Magwich lives in atrocious poverty. Joe Gargery provides for and supports his wife and Pip. Joe has given Pip a secure, stable and reasonably happy home. Pip is seen as Joe’s apprentice (while he is working as a black smith and at home), he is treated like a son. Joe is a happy medium in connection with wealth. Before Pip’s meeting with Miss Havisham he is made aware of the state of her wealth. There is a huge dissimilarity between Miss Havisham’s and Joe’s house. Miss Havisham’s house was a dark secluding place covered in cobwebs. “I s... ... middle of paper ... ...ses it create happiness and splendor, for his old father and his ‘castle’. Herbert Pocket comes across as the incompetent type; he has indistinct plans but seems satisfied. Estella’s wealth from Miss Havisham and her mercenary attitudes immediately steer her towards a path of misery and anguish. Pip’s journey throughout life was reasonably tough. He came from a working class background, received riches and became a parasite which leads to numerous mistakes, disclosure and rejection, and thankfully the Courage to help Magwich to escape. Although Pip’s journey began well, it went down hill once a wealthy status was achieved; nonetheless, he still managed to find courage and wisdom, which proves that there is possible hope for the future. This shows that happiness is not always achieved by wealth and being egotistical will not benefit you long term.
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