Victorian Relationships Through Great Expectations

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Victorian Relationships Victorian literature, though lengthy, is abundant and well developed in its use of character. In Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, characters are used both to develop major themes and as plot vehicles. The two most prominent, and most indissoluble, themes portrayed are love and friendship. The characters pertinent to these themes are; Pip, Estella, Wemmick, Herbert, and Magwitch. Dickens plays with these characters’ emotions and interactions to show us veritable instances of friendship and love. defines love as ‘a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person’ ( It also says that the word love itself comes from Olde Englishe, originating in the year 900 A.D. The bible demonstrates, through Adam and Eve, that love has always existed but it wasn’t until that time that the linguists found a proper term to describe it. The author doesn’t think that the above definition of love is adequate. For her, love is all-encompassing. If she loves someone, they’re always on her mind, they show up in her school work and everything she does ties back to them somehow. Much the same as Pip when he declares his love for Estella, “‘Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil.’” (Pip, to Estella, 345) So then the author gets to thinking if the way she loves is similar to the way Pip loves and whether she loves truly, or if it’s merely infatuation. It seems that both her and Pip love like a general of war going into battle without any armour, “I should have loved her under any circumstance” (Pip, 377). Both her and Pip aim much too high when they are looking for a mate. Estella is a gentlewoman and Pip is a working class boy when they meet for the first time. He is dumbfounded by her beauty and grace at first sight
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