The story, Great Expectations takes place in Victorian England with a little boy known as Pip. Pip lives with his sister Mrs Joe Gargery and her husband Joe the blacksmith. Pips mother, father and 5 brothers lay rest in the church burial grounds. Pip is a lower class common labouring boy but when he meets an escaped convict in the mellow dunes of the church yard, his life turns upside down.
Dickens himself suffered hardship as a child when his father was sent to jail due to lack of tax payments and the character Pip relates to this for also not having a father. Great Expectations shows the hard times of Victorian London and shows the harshness of how the lower class people were treated.
Charles Dickens was born the 7th of February 1812 and until 9 years old he lived in the costal regions of Kent. A country to the south east of England Dickens moved to London when he was 9 and his father arrested when he was 12. At the age of 25 Dickens released his first novel “The Pickwick Papers” This was a huge successful novel and Dickens was considered a literary celebrity, until his death in 1870.
12 months have passed since the episode with the convicts and pip is to be apprenticed to Joe when he is old enough. Today is the day Pip is to go and play at Mrs Havashams. Dickens puts a lot of pressure onto Pip as he does not have a say in weather to go to Mrs Havashams or not. Dickens introduces Mr. Pumblechook as a rich stiff corn-chandler with a business up market on high-street. Today, Pip is to breakfast with Mr. Pumblechook in his shop. Pip does not receive much to eat, Pip also considered Pumplechook as Wretched company. Pip receives a small amount of bread with just as little butter, Pips Milk has also been watered down, and this shows the selfishness of Pumblechook Pip however does not complain at all, showing a shy uneasy character within Pip, Pumblechook also thinks very lowly of Pip as he challenged his intellect often with arithmetic. Pumblechook lastes out at Pip many time with math questions and such. Seven times Nine boy?. Mr. Pumblechook also refers to Pip as boy and not his name, this can do nothing more then belittle Pip. Breakfast ended shortly later and Pip and Mr. Pumblechook set off for Mrs. Havashams.
On the journey to Mrs Havasham’s Pip feels very uneasy, wondering how to acquaint himself. Pip is told not to refer to Mrs Havasham by her name, he refers to her as, “mam or miss”. After a quarter of an hour, Pip and Mr Pumblechook arrived at Mrs Havasham’s. A very dull house of old brick. Described as being dismal with a many iron bars to it, maybe to suggest it has a prison feel to it. On top of that, many of the windows had been all walled up. And the remaining lower windows were rusted and barred. The huge house began at the wretched courtyard, the courtyard was a well looked after stone path with few plants around it, and outside the courtyard was a large iron gate. While waiting to go inside, Mr Pumblechook still cracked away at the math, “and fourteen?” Pip at this point just wasn’t paying attention. Which assumes he has gotten fed up. Pip noticed the large brewery to the side of the house, deserted, with no brewing going on. It is described as being a very dismal with a certain gloom to it, all to add to the effect of the picture. I think Pumblechook is very upset and a little peeved that he is rejected and not allowed. Here Pip meets Estelle for the first time.
She tells Pip that the name of the house is satis house, Meaning enough in another language. The name of the house, enough suggests that terrible fait has occurred in the house. Estelle Leads pip Through the courtyard, past a small alley connecting the courtyard to the Brewery. the brewery was open, and all was disused. “The cold wind seemed to blow colder there then outside the gate” this suggests the house has a very unwelcoming factor to it, as if it’s haunted. Pip was lead round the side of the house to a side door, since the front had two large chains across it. As you enter satis house, all the passages are dark and dismal. With a candle left burning on the side for you to take up with you. Pip entered through more passages and up a stair case. It was all dark and only a candle was to guide you. Finally Pip came to the door of a room. where he Pip was instructed to go inside. It became even worse when the candle was taken back down by the young lady who brought Pip up. Pip became very afraid, all he could do, was knock at the door.
A voice came from within, to enter. Pip emerged in a very large room. All lit up by many wax candles. There were no glimpses of daylight at all. The huge room seemed to be a dressing room, but when pip looked around at the dressing table and other objects in the room, Pip had no idea whatever there uses were. Within the room was a large draped table, with a gilded looking glass also in the room was an old arm chair, and in it was sat Mrs Havasham Her figure brought horror to Pips eyes, Dickens introduces her as a very frail and unwelcoming old hag as pale as a sheet. Pip only described Mrs Havasham at first, as the strangest lady he had ever seen. She still had her bridal flowers in her hair, Mrs Havasham had a tragedy that Pip was soon to learn, she has been jilted on her wedding day. She wore her pale wedding dress, all withered and worn, she wore only 1 white shoe with the other on her dressing table. Pip notices that the rooms clocks are all stopped at the same time, but was this a coincidence? No, this was the exact time that Mrs. Havashams groom failed to attend the wedding.
Her dress was made of rich materials. Satins lace and silks. Dickens uses repetition a lot in the scenes with Mrs Havasham.
“Her shoes were white and she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair but her hair was white.”
She also had many sparkling jewels on her neck and hands, and more on the table.
She also had half packed trunks scattered about the floor, most likely for her honeymoon, witch she never went on. Mrs Havasham turned to look at pip, the first words to come from her cold lifeless lips were, “who is it?” Pip replied politely with his name, A lot of pressure is put onto Pip, meeting a strange crazed woman for the first time. Mrs Havasham requested he come nearer so she could get a good look at him. Mrs Havasham says a rather unusual sentence. To show just how much of an odd lady she is, “you are not afraid of a woman who has never seen the sun since you were born?” Pip feels very uncomfortable and confused, was Mrs Havasham trying to confuse Pip? Pip, refusing to look bad in front of the obviously lonely woman, he tells the first of many white lies. He makes out he is not afraid, his expressions however say otherwise and Mrs Havasham picks up on this. Pip does however responds to most of Mrs Havasham’s questions very politely, so she thinks more of him, but Pip doesn’t realise Mrs Havasham is only out to break Pip’s heart, using here beautiful adopted daughter Estella.
Mrs Havasham touches her heart and utters the word, broken. Pip realises what Happened to Mrs Havasham, the dress, the shoes, the set table and the unpacked trunks. Pip realises Mrs Havasham must have been jilted on her wedding day.
Mrs Havasham has many sick fancies, and today, she wishes to see Pip play,
Mrs Havasham ordered Pip to go to the door and to call up the beautiful Estella. Pip goes to the door and shouts Estella, when she comes up Mrs Havasham wants to see them play cards. Estella at first refuses as she sees him as just a common labouring boy, after a while Mrs Havasham convinces her to play with Pip. Pip falls in love with Estella the moment he first laid eyes on her, when she led him into the house through the courtyard, Although Estella is very scornful towards Pip, as she does not see him very highly, Estella is very rude and refuses to talk to Pip, she is brought up by Mrs Havasham to think that all others beside her were lower class people who do not deserve to even be in her presence. Mrs Havasham Asks Pip what he thinks of Estella.
Pip replies that she is very proud, and also very insulting, he goes on to say she is very pretty, for a brief time pip speaks his feelings and this is a very rare event for such a character. After some discussion Estelle agrees to play cards. Pip and Estella sit down in front of Mrs Havasham to a game of cards, Pip is a commoner so he doesn’t know many games, they start to play beggar. Estella Makes fun of Pip for his tendency to call Knaves Jacks. She also accuses him of having coarse hands and common boots. Estella deals the cards and they begin a game of beggar. Mrs Havasham smiled; Pip never imagined that that old skeleton could smile. Estella Also referred to Pip as boy. This is very ironic because Estella was of the same age of Pip. Also, Estella used to be the same class as Pip, until she was adopted by Mrs Havasham, who only uses her to break people’s hearts. The final straw is hit when Estella beats Pip, (beggar’s him.) and Pip soon requests to go home. Mrs Havasham Asks Estella to show him to the door and to get Pip something to eat. Pip follows the candle he followed on his way up Estella stood it in the place she had found it.
Just before Pip left, Mrs Havasham told him to return in 6 days. Estella opened the side entrance and let Pip out. Pip imagined that it would be night time, possibly from being in the darkness of Mrs Havasham’s house. Estella foully told Pip to “wait here boy!” Pip went for a wander and took an interest in the old brewery Dickens Displays Pips grief with this next event, as Pip enters the brewery he sees a very course disturbing figure in the distance, the nearer he got the clearer the figure became, it was the corpse of Mrs Havasham! Hanging by the neck swaying side to side. Pip wiped his eyes and the figure was gone Pip obviously at the point feels terribly towards Mrs Havasham. Pip returned to the courtyard and took the opportunity to examine his hands, as Estella called them coarse earlier, and his common boots. Pip didn’t favour his accessories, not after Estella gave him her wise advice.
Estella came back shortly with some bread, meat and a little mug of beer. Pip felt very terribly towards Estella. Pips experience at Mrs Havasham’s gave him a chance to meet two very awful characters. Estella Gave Pip the food without even looking at him, which made him feel even lower. Pip was now totally humiliated. He was hurt, he was spurned, and he was offended, and he was sorry and most of all, angry. Pip began to cry. Estella was the most awful person he’d ever met. Estella felt very proud that she was the one who caused Pips crying. Pip looked for a place to hide his face while he cried. He leaned on the wall in the lane leading to the brewery. He kicked the wall and took hard twists of his hair while he cried. Estella made it even worse when she came back and confronted him. She didn’t come back to make Pip feel better, she only used it as an opportunity to hurt Pip even more. Estella saw it as a mindless game to hit Pip where it hurts, his heart. Pip left the house trying to keep in his tears, with Estella laughing as he left. “Saying, you’re going to cry on the way home!”
And so Pips visit to Mrs Havasham’s came to an end. Surely Pips visit has given him a lot to think about, But no worries, he has been asked to return in 6 days.