The Great Expectations of Human Nature
Charles Dickens used Great Expectations as a forum for presenting his views of human nature. This essay will explore friendship, generosity, love, cruelty and other aspects of human nature presented by Dickens over 100 years ago.
Friendship was one of the human characteristics Dickens enjoyed. Herbert was a true friend to Pip. Moving to London would have been stressful if Herbert had not eased Pip's transition into the city. Herbert informed Pip of Miss Havisham's story when no one else would tell it. When Magwitch arrived and mortified Pip, Herbert was there discuss what was to be done. Herbert was an integral part in the design and implementation of Magwitch's escape. Herbert even saved Pip's life from Orlick's powerful grasp. By associating fellowship with good characters and deeds, Dickens made it known that he admired friendships.
Another human characteristic which Dickens appreciated was generosity. This trait appeared in Magwitch and Pip. Magwitch , the starved convict, was forever grateful to Pip for bringing him food in the opening of the book. Magwitch repaid Pip's kindness by opening a door to the young man's dreams. Pip suspected his dear friend, Herbert, would never become prosperous so Pip took some of the money he was receiving from Magwitch and used it as a stipend in Herbert's behalf. By doing this, Pip precipitated Herbert becoming a partner in a prosperous business. Having characters donate money and benefit from it, Dickens conveyed the goodness of generosity.
To Dickens, the most noble of human characte...
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...me to visit Pip in London, Pip was embarrassed to know him. If Pip "could have kept him away by paying money, [Pip] certainly would have paid money." After years of Joe's friendship and loving care, Pip thought of paying him not to visit. At the end of the novel, Pip learned what an unappreciative person he had been to Joe and asked his forgiveness. Dickens presented this piece of human nature well enough to create sympathy for Joe and all parents who receive ingratitude from their children.
Dickens used his characters to convey his thoughts of human nature - good and bad. Dickens believed if he could present both sides of humanity to the public, people would try to better themselves. Dickens hated the Victorian society in which he was bound, and he turned to the pen to alter his bete noire.
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