The Theme of, "Love," in, Dickens', "Great Expectations."

Essay by PoloCollarsup69High School, 10th gradeA+, May 2005

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In the Novel Great Expectations, Charles Dickens inserts a theme of love into the novel. Not always intimate love, and some times the complete lack of love, is used. Joe, Mrs. Havisham, and Magwitch are all themselves capable of different types of love. Dickens examines three kinds of love as seen in Joe, Miss Havisham, and Magwitch.

First, love as seen with Joe. The home Pip grows up in, under the domineering hand of Mrs. Joe, isn't exactly bursting with love. Only Joe seems to translate his love for Pip into kind behavior, like protecting Pip from his sister when she was chasing him with the "tickler," the wax tipped cain intended for corporal punishment. "Pip. She's coming! Get behind the door, old chap, and have the jack-towel betwixt you."(17) Then, Joe has a father-like love towards Pip. Pip becomes extremely ill and Joe is at his said to nurse him.

Living with him and checking up on him every day, Joe is with him through his entire ailment. "And you are always getting a stronger, old chap." Also, Joe is capable of intimate love. When Pip makes up his mind to propose to Biddy, his intentions are crushed when the news is given to him that Joe and Biddy are to be wed." It's my wedding day, and I am married to Joe!" (451) Dickens uses Joe's love to show how kind he is, and ultimately, how perfect he is for Biddy.

Second, Love as seen with Mrs. Havisham. Mrs. Havisham's words of encouragement to Estella "Break their hearts, my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy!" (109), suggest that she's using Estella as a conduit for revenge on men. Although, we do not know what grudge she has against the male sex until later...

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