View Full Version : Great Expectations and Women

05-29-2005, 10:16 AM
Can anyone comment as to how Great Expectations appeals to young women today ?

05-29-2005, 12:54 PM
I think most young women might find Biddy to be an admirable character. Independent, intelligent, perceptive, and compassionate, she knows herself. Rather than deluding herself that Pip might be convinced to love her, she instead accepts the reality that he is caught up in embracing his "great expectations" that include a life of status and the potential for a 'trophy' wife, like the beautiful and wealthy Estella. By marrying Joe, whose disposition is much like her own, she can realize her greatest potential for personal happiness.

As for other aspects of the novel that might appeal to young women, consider these thoughts: 1) experience is the best teacher -- both Estella and Miss Havisham, through their life experiences (Estella through her miserable, failed relationship with Drummle, and Miss Havisham with her regret re: both how she raised Estella to be a man hater and at how she 'used' Pip) evolve into different, "better" people; and 2) the value of 'true' friendship (Joe and Biddy's relationship with Pip, and Pip's refusal to "give up" on Estella); and lastly 3) keeping attuned to what really brings significance to life -- friendship, integrity, self-knowledge.

I could go on, but this is supposed to be a "quick" reply. I hope this sets you to thinking, at least.

05-29-2005, 02:18 PM
Indeed, lavendar1 brings a very good point.
I can call myself neither young nor a woman, but, sociologically, I think Charles Dickens' Great Expectations can certainly continue its appeal toward younger women of the present. Consider the thought that Pip lives in a very poor situation, and his sister entirely dominates her husband, the very submissive and absent-minded, but kind, Joe - very rare in the mid-1800s, when Dickens wrote this work.
Additionally, Miss Havisham presents herself as an independentally wealthy widow, with practically her own nostalgic palace, never needing to work for inheriting her wealth.
Lastly, a common reader can easily perceive Estella's domination over Pip, not only out of a higher socio-economic status, but merely by carrying herself with immense, intimidating esteem.
In adding to the above response, I strongly agree with all lavendar1 wrote, and I feel that, especially during such a patriarchal era of world history, that Great Expectations adds optimistically an emphasis of women with authority and power.

11-14-2006, 08:35 PM
I don't know...but do you guys know how one's great expectations can be met in the novel Great Expectations?