Barriers In Great Expectations

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The Great Barriers of Great Expectations
In our society, each person faces psychological pressure from their environment, whether it is sheer manipulation or academic pressure. As one reads, they are bound to pick up on the similar pressures that the characters in Dickens’ literary society suffer through. In Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, characters are psychologically programmed by physical barriers that develop social distinctions as seen through Pip, Joe and Estella, which characterizes the social hierarchy of the book.
Throughout the novel, Pip experiences a feeling of classlessness and detachment in both the city and country that can only be attributed to his emotional abuse from Mrs Joe and Estella. James Crowley analyzes Pip’s
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She is adopted by Miss Havisham who uses her to get revenge on all men. Theresa Atchinson analyzes Miss Havisham’s manipulation, “In her [Miss Havisham’s] mind, the only agency women wield is sexual, and her chosen weapon is Estella. While always attractive, Estella blatantly occupies this immaculate, sexually infused position...” (Atchison). Miss Havisham adopts and raises her for the sole purpose of vengeance. Estella’s behavior with lower classes can be traced back to this, as Estella grew up in this vengeful environment, she is poisoned into a life of manipulation. Her behavior towards Pip illustrates that as she bullies him relentlessly to fuel her sense of self-importance. All of her behavior portrays her as “a princess” who is too above the simple lives of the lower classes. The location of Miss Havisham’s house enforces this, “...everybody had heard of Miss Havisham up town-as an immensely rich and grim lady who lived in a large and dismal house, and who led a life of seclusion” (Dickens 48). In Great Expectations, the rich are always above, as seen through the phrase “up-town”. Estella’s life of loneliness and seclusion also ties back to her manipulation and lack of opportunities to form bonds. Miss Havisham’s manipulation of Estella leads her to psychologically damage others because of the poisonous environment she is
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