INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY SUBJECT: FICTIONTOPIC: SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TITLE GREAT EXPECTATION AND PIP’S EXPECTATIONS SUBMITTED TO: MADAM NEELAM SUBMITTED BY: HUMA ASLAM HUMA HAFEEZ KINZA GHAFOOR SUMAIRA BIBI DATE: 25 MAY, 2012
The title of the novel great expectations by Charles dickens is a very significant one. The titlecan be evaluated by different aspects. The title is ironic and it also has the autobiographicalaspect of Charles dickens prominent in it. The title itself suggests that different characters in thenovel are going to have different expectations. The expectations of the readers are also taken intoaccount. Along all these aspects expectations of Pip; the protagonist are emphasized in aremarkable way.Most importantly Charles dickens own expectations are reflected through the novel‟s title. Hissuppressed desires and expectations are expressed especially through the personality of the maincharacter Pip. Dickens depicts the Victorian society. He was oppressed and disheartened by thecruel and harsh evils which were prevalent in the society at that time; child hood labor,hypocrisy, slothfulness, broken families and class discrimination were the evils which flourishedrapidly. Thus Charles dickens has represented all these occurrences through the character of Pip.So, fundamentally dickens expectations lie in the reformation of the contemporary society whichis portrayed through Pip as he also wants to reform himself.The title of the novel “Great Expectations” has been chosen well. It has overtones of ironicbitterness. The great expectations of various characters have an extricable connection. The title isso obviously ironic. Pip‟s so called expectations are exposed being so empty and vain when herealizes that it‟s a convict who has been providing for him so that he could pas superficially as a„gentleman‟ and that he has actually been in love all these years with a murderess‟ daughter. The Title of the Novel “Great Expectations” has a notable significance for its readers ,aswell. The subject matter of the Novel remains the same throughout; which is common to allindividual‟s lives and is universal. Everyone has some expectations in one‟s life and thus hestrives for the achievement of something better as pip does, in fact the reader identifies himselfwith the character of pip. In the 18th Chapter of the Novel it can be perceived for the first time that why the bookbeen named “Great Expectations”. There is a sudden dramatic development when the Londonlawyer Mr. Jaggers suddenly appears at the bargemen in and then comes to Joes place bringingthe unexpected message that Pip would come into a handsome property and be brought up as agentleman in a word, as a young fellow of Great Expectations. Thus the phrase becomes the titleof this great novel. If the expectations of other characters analysis one come to know that almostevery character is prisoned in the cage of desires and wishes. The hero of the novel, Pi is insearch for identity and a family. He wished to be educated in order to get social status and tobecome gentleman. He also fancies gaining his love Estella. Miss Havisham is a character whoas a young woman left by her fiancé just minute before her wedding. Hence forth , due to whichstill “She was dressed in rich materials – satin lace and silks- all of white ….And she has a longwhite veil dependent from her hair and she had bridal flower in her hair , but her hair was white”.So, her expectation is to obtain revenge on the male sex and so she adopts Estella anddeliberately raises her to be the tool of her revenge.
Another important character is Magwitch who was an escaped convict. The kind help of Pipbecomes unforgettable for him that‟s why is devotes himself to earning money that he denotes toPip without making him aware that who actually is denoting. Moreover, relatives of MisHavisham also have great expectation in a sense that they expect the inheritance of lot of wealthand money to themselves after the death of Miss Havisham but even that expectation or desireremains unfulfilled .Similarly when Pip returns from Miss Havisham house, Mrs. joe hopes to be well mannered.Along Mrs. Joe, Pumblechook also seems to have some expectations from Pip that MissHavisham might help Pip in gaining status as Pip says “while they sat debating what resultswould come to me from Miss Havisham acquaintance and favor. They had no doubt that MissHavisham would do something for me; there doubts related to form that something would take.My sister stood out for property .M r Pumble chook was in favor of handsome premium forbinding me apprentice to some genteel trade”. But all their hopes were devastated.Pip has different stages of expectations which are interlinked with developmental phases of hislife. Pips expectations seems to be the main concern as these are more emphasized than those ofothers . Foremost aspect of Pips life is that he lacks a proper family he is an orphan her sister isresponsible for bringing him up. The treatment that she gives him has made him fragile andsensitive the girl Estella also insults him by calling him a boy, though she is of his age. Thus insuch a way the complex of inferiority and uncertainty are induce into his personality. Hence forththe urge of getting some status in the society has been induced in his mind. Pip has distortedfamily structure though he has a mother like sister with “hard and heavy hand” and a father likebrother in-law; Mr. Joe.Another important desire of Pip is to acquire education in order to become a gentleman, he wantsto be educated so that he could be a knowledgeable and well mannered person so that he couldbecome uncommon and respectable. He wants to enjoy some social status in society. This urgecomes into his mind due to the attitude of Estella, her proud and haughty behavior with him. Shemakes fun of him by pointing out his “thick boots” and “coarse hands” again and again. Thisinferiority complex induce by Estella forces pip for “becoming uncommon” and he knows that itcan only be done making himself educated and well mannered . The behavior of Estella andinfluence of Satis house put so pressure on Pips mind and his expectations has grown so muchthat he even starts feeling a ashamed of his poor little house, of Joe‟s mannerism and education.All these things seems to be a hurdle in his way of becoming a gentleman as he says “I wishedthat Joe had been rather more gently brought u and then I should have been so too”. Thereforeinstantly takes the help if biddy to read and right.Pips sees his expectation being fulfilled when a lawyer named Mr. Jaggers advocates I kind ofdifferent education for Pip , for that now he is supposed to be a gentle man rather thanblacksmith. When he takes him away to London, Pip energetically gets involved into becoming agentleman. The expectation of being wealthy and rich provides him a stimulus to be a egoistic
and haughty. Now the ways of upper class attract him and so he starts adopting them, due towhich he feels embracement of his previous relatives as David Daiches says „Pip seeks tobecome a gentleman and to wash from his mouth forever the flavor of his early life‟. Pip thinksthat being wealthy and gaining a social status are the requisite for being a gentleman which hehas acquired and so now Estella with whom he is in love, should also confess love for him.Marrying Estella seems to be more desired expectation of Pip. In fact it is either due to the proudattitude and haughty behavior of Estella or for the sake of Estella that Pip want to get educated ,civilized gentleman of high social position in a society so that he could unable himself to marryEstella. Pip is so much blinded by his expectation that he even ignores the arrogant and harshbehavior of Estella with him as Pip says about Estella „it was impossible for me to separate her,in the past or in the present, from the inner most life of my life”.One of the expectations Pip has is that he was certain that Miss Havisham is his real patroness or„benefactor‟ and „well wisher‟. he seems quite sure that she was planning to bring Estella and him together in marriage but his expectation shattered because actually it was Miss Havisham cruelplan to wreak vengeance on male folk for her on agony and suffering caused by one of them.Unfortunately Pips drams are not fulfilled and are absolutely shattered when she „coolly‟ andcruelly reveals her decision about her marriage with Drumble.Another expectation of Pip was that after marrying Estella, he would be able to inherit MissHavisham‟s property i.e. Satis house, but this expectation of his also turns out ti be un attainable, he comes to know that Estella is actually daughter of Magwitch. Thus once again hisexpectations are shattered .Concluding all the discussion it can be said that , the title of the novel „Great Expectations‟ byCharles Dickens does contains a proper significance in fact it depicts the great expectations ofvarious characters inseparably connected in a remarkable way.