Theme Of Wealth In Great Expectations

789 Words4 Pages
Happiness and Wealth: two words that are both alike and distinct. One without wealth can be happy, one with substantial wealth may not be happy, but one rarely has both. In Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations, the main character, Pip, suddenly grows wealthy and rises in class; a common Victorian rags to riches story. However, as his capital increases, his character decreases by acting recklessly and being shameful of his modest upbringing. Additionally, Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter, Estella - born wealthy - are spoiled and don’t contribute anything beneficial to society. Readers are introduced to these major characters early on in the story who personify the upper class by demonstrating how wealth has hindered their maturation. As evident by Dickens’ characters, those who live a lavish upper-class lifestyle are often corrupted by their wealth and growing discontent which causes a gradual deterioration of their character. Miss Havisham 's character exemplifies the self-indulgent rich who lounges in her rotting mansion, becoming wrathful as she tantalizes over her failed marriage. Miss Havisham, the rich daughter of a brewer, breaks down completely after her fiance tricks her, leaving her at the wedding. Sure, it’s acceptable to be a bit angry, but Miss Havisham goes insane, “at which she afterward stopped all the clocks”, and spends the rest of her life in the wedding dress, planning out her vengeance on the male race(Dickens 169). Dickens uses this to show
Open Document