Guilt-fullto Guilt-free Guilt-full is a state of being thateveryone finds themselves in at least once, whether it remains permanently, orif it dissolves. Throughout Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations the theme of guilt remains a prevalent topic, centeredby the main characters of GreatExpectations. Dickens creates characters throughout his novel, so that hemay keep a guilt-full cycle throughout the novel. Dickens use of symbolism andallusions creates a depth-full novel that continues without repetition. AlthoughDickens portrays guilt as matter, he creates a novel based on the transferenceof guilt through symbolism and allusions. Guilt-fullconsciousness’s are created by the spreading of guilt throughout Great Expectations by symbolism; Dickensuses different characters and animals to portray guilt throughout his entirenovel. Characters are brought into the novel through guilt, not completelyexisting until guilt touches their lives. Pip, Dickens main character is anexample of guilt-full birth. Magwitch transfers guilt to Pip, allowing Pip totake center stage as the novels starring character. Macleod illustrates “Theargument that Pip did not to all intents ‘exist’ before Magwitch kicked himinto life” (Macleod 5). By having Magwitch in essence bring Pip to life,Dickens does not follow his standard character development; Dickens does notpresent Pip with the attributions of a normal Dickensian character. BeforeMagwitch Dickens presents information into the novel as if Pip was not aware ofthe information. Sin becomes thecreation of life throughout Great Expectationsallowing many to believe that you cannot be born without guilt; althoughMagwitch is believed to have ‘kick-started’ Pip’s life, his creation was alsoborn in sin. Dickens creates a child born in sin to illustrate that every soulis born to absorb the sin of others. Pip’s sin, was not in fact a life definingsin, yet because it was transferred from a convict it became a defining sin, aguilt-full sin. As seen through Pip’s thoughts, “The guilty knowledge that Iwas going to rob Mrs. Joe- I never thought I was going to rob Joe” (Dickens 9).Pip begins his life with sin, and allows guilt to hold the reigns for most ofhis life. Guilt istransferred, rather than erased, in order to work towards being guilt-free onmust create a new life. Dickens allows Pip to attempt to create a newguilt-free life for himself after leaving Joe and Biddy, yet instead of leavinghis guilt behind him, Pip travels with guilt circling over his head, lookingfor more to absorb. Dickens illustrates that guilt is not an easy emotion toovercome, or gain tolerance over; instead it is a life consuming emotion. AsMoynahan explains, “He not only suffers agenbite of inwit for his sin ofsnobbish ingratitude toward Joes and Biddy” (Moynahan 82-92). Pip’s actions arenot criminal; therefor he should not feel the criminal guilt that he expressesthroughout the novel, yet because guilt is a powerful emotion he feels a strongsense of underlying guilt for innocent actions. Pip’s underlying guilt is found in the guiltthat he absorbs from Joe and Biddy by never visiting them. Many believe thatby hiding from guilt, the guilt vanishes, instead it becomes stronger. Dickensallows Pip to hide from guilt by creating a new life for himself. As Dickensrenames Pip, “Would you mind Handel for a familiar name?” (Dickens 139) AsPip’s position changes as does his name, by changing his name Pip himself isreborn to live a guilt free life. (Dickens 139) Pip’s adventure as a gentlemanis one way of hiding from guilt; he recreates himself into a man that he wasnot meant to be. Pip recreates himself by attempting to start life anew, aguilt-free life, without going through the process of transferring his guilt. Goingfrom guilt-free to guilt-full is an easy transaction that many do not realizehappens. Dickens illustrates how guilt can be transferred from one character toanother, just from simple association. Dickens places Pip within range ofconvicts throughout the novel, illustrating how easily Pip absorbs guilt fromeach of them. From the beginning of Pip’s life he has been placed within shortdistance from criminals; Magwitch being the one who brought Pip into “life”. Magwitchis the first convict that Pip comes across in his life, yet certainly not thelast. Pip’s cycle of criminal connection begins with Magwitch, and remains tiedto Magwitch. Pip lends Magwitch a file to remove his leg iron, that laterbecomes used as a weapon against his beloved Mrs. Joe, causing him to feelguilt from his prior actions. (Dickens 93)Prison is anideological location for absorbing guilt, as many inmates are attempting tobegin a new guilt-free life. Prisonbecomes a key location scattered throughout the novel, becoming a symbol ofsin. Dickens describes the prisons of London as a sickening location, “This washorrible, and gave me a sickening idea of London” (Dickens 128). Prison is theone location where one that is looking to become guilt-free should not remainnear; Pip believes himself to be tainted by the prisons that surround his life.As Moynahan explains, “I consumed the whole time in thinking how strange it wasthat I should be encompassed by all this taint of prison and crime” (Moynahan82-92). Prison becomes the undesirable; the inmates become even moreundesirable. Guilt-fullindividual tend to hang around those who are guilt-less in a method of riddingthemselves of their own guilt. Dickens creates a never ending transfer of guiltthrough each and every character. Through creating foiled characters Dickenscreates a pair of guilt-full and guilt-free association; Dickens creates Orlickand Pip as foil characters. Foiled characters are known as characters that arethe complete opposite of one another, yet Dickens also portrays them a guiltcouplets. Dickens transfers guilt and innocence between Orlick and Pip. Orlickis the one whom Pip receives transferable guilt from, the man whom feels noregret, the opposite of Pip. (Moynahan 82-92) Because Orlick has no regret, hedoes not suffer the guilt from his actions, causing Dickens to transfer hisguilt to another. Orlick falsely absorbs Pip’s innocence, believing himself tobe a saint, allowing himself to live a blameless life. As Moynahan brings tolife, “Addressing Pip over and over again as ‘wolf’ an epithet he might morereadily apply to himself” (Moynahan 82-92) Dickens portrays Orlick as alecherous character, out to right the wrongs others commit against Pip. Guilt does notrequire the use of foil characters; however, any two characters can transferguilt to one another. Dickens places Pip within the guardianship of Mr.Jaggers, a man who remains no greater than the convicts he is paid to defend.Mr. Jaggers is a criminal defendant that is more concerned over money, than theinnocence of his defendants. Dickens provides the reader with this earlyexample of Mr. Jaggers character, “And if you come back here, bothering yourBill, I’ll make an example of both your Bill and you, and let him slip throughmy fingers” (Dickens 130). Jaggers is illustrated as a criminal defendant onlyinterested in the money he may earn. Dickens proclaims, “Did your client committhe robbery?’ I asked. ‘Bless your soul and body, no,’ answered Wemmick, verydrily. ‘But he is accused of it. So might you or I be. Either of us might beaccused of it, you know” (Dickens 203). By displaying a fondness over criminalsJaggers gives Pip an unreal expectation of reality. As Dickens illustrates, “Ilike that spider though” (Dickens 214).Animals are seen as wild creatures,creatures that do not exhibit civilization. Dickens illustrates guilt throughanimal symbolism. Epithets involving animals are a common occurrence among allliterature. Wolves are commonly used as epithets because of their ruthlessnature, and commonality among London. The epithet of a wolf is seen numeroustimes across Great Expectations asexplained by Moynahan, “Addressing Pip over and over again as ‘wolf’ an epithethe might more readily apply to himself” (Moynahan 82-92). Wolves are oftenidentified as lecherous scavengers, animals that scavenge for food rather thanfind their own. Another common epithet found scattered in the novel is thereference of a spider. Dickens describes Drummle as a sneaky, crooked fellow,whom Mr. Jaggers becomes found of, referring to him as a spider, and insectwhom is also found to be sneaky. Dickens illustrates, “I like that spiderthough” (Dickens 214). Guilt remains a highlighted topic throughout Great Expectations because of Dickensuse of animal epithets. Guilt-fullcharacters and guilt-free characters switch roles more often than one wouldexpect. Dickens initially describes Magwitch as a dog by Pip, whom is laterdescribed as a dog. As Houston explains, “Estella offers Pip ’bread and meat’as if he were a dog in disgrace, and it is also telling that Pip’s fancifuldescription of his first visit to Miss Havisham’s includes four ‘immense’ravenous dogs that ‘fought for veal-cutlets out of a silver basket” (Houston155-166). Dickens describes Pip as a disgraceful dog, because of the locationand status he has placed upon himself. Pip imagines four ravenous dogs eatingout of a silver basket, after describing himself as a dog, therefor Pip isdreaming for a higher position in life. When Pip first describes himself as adog he begins overthinking his current financial position, and dreaming about ahigher position. Pip’s guilt-fullpersona is highlighted when Orlick describes Pip as a wolf, creating alecherous persona around Pip, almost as lecherous as Orlick. As Houstonillustrates, “In the same interlude, after young Pip pummels Herbert Pocket, heregards himself ‘as a species of savage young wolf or other wild beast,’ andimage reitereated at the end of the novel when a murderous Orlick refers to Pipas ‘wolf” (Houston 155-166). Guilt caneventually be transferred through faith within the life of one who isguilt-full, by ridding themselves of sin, guilt soon follows. Dickens alludes tobiblical stories, and faithful beliefs throughout Great Expectations. Dickens expands on the belief that you cannotbecome pure once again, without sin. Pip cannot become pure and innocent as hewas in the beginning of the novel without gaining sin throughout his life. Dickensalso entertains the idea that one can only become enlightened about the worldaround them by the guilt they gain throughout the years. Enlightenment isobtained through guilt. (Stange 74-81) Although enlightenment can only beobtained through guilt, guilt can be washed away through enlightenment. As Pipmatures through guilt, his guilt overpowers his spiritual growth. Philanthropicdeeds can be used as a tool to obtain a guilt-free life. Dickens allows guiltto be transferred and replaced through philanthropic deeds. Examples ofphilanthropic individuals throughout the novel include Miss Havisham, Biddy,and Magwitch. Miss Havisham, whom has faced her own fair share of guilt,attempted to mask her own guilt by taking on a young child, Estella, to rise asher own. By attempting to live philanthropically Dickens portrays her as a lessguilt-full character. Magwitch transfers his own guilt onto guilt by turningPip into a gentleman, believing that if he creates his own gentleman, than hewill once again become pure. Although Magwitch never becomes a guilt-freecharacter, he manages to transfer a majority of his guilt to Pip. Biddy, who isthe most philanthropic of all Dickens characters, also lives the mostguilt-free. Society viewsguilt as a commonality, nothing to be concerned over, and an idea that is toocommon to become a theme. Guilt has always been hidden within society, becomingthe unspeakable topic, discussed only within closed doors. Dickens also alludesto societal beliefs. Dickens illustrates that guilt is a common aspect ofeveryday life. As Houston explains, “But,of course, Pip both directly and implicitly compares himself to ‘bolting’canines, and animal like the swine imagery the implies that both voraciousgluttony and victimization” (Houston 155-166). Guilt is a common attribute tolife, found in almost every character, and every society, whether real orimaginary. By uncovering guilt within GreatExpectations, one can determine that the most hidden of all guilt isselfishness. Gilbert illustrates, “Selfishness is indeed a common vice, perhapstoo common, too ubiquitious to be the main theme of any popular work offiction. One might even argue that novels cannot be written on any othersubject” (Gilbert 131-153). Almost every character in Great Expectations experiences some form of selfishness, oftenhidden from those closest to them, for fear that discovery would lead togreater guilt. All thingsconsidered, Dickens creates a novel that is based around the theme of guilt, anever ending cycle. By successfully utilizing symbolism Dickens illustrates thetransference of guilt. Epithets and foiling help Dickens highlight hissymbolism. They also allow Dickens to create a novel on guilt, without becomingredundant. Through allusions Dickens illustrates how guilt impacts individualsand those around them. This impact is what has shaped Dickens characters withinthe novel of Great Expectations. Withoutthe use of symbolisms and allusions, Dickens would have a novel of twodimensional proportion, not the three dimensional novel that he has created.Guilt-full individuals may become guilt-free, if they are willing to work onlosing their sin, and their perspective on life.
Guilt-fullto Guilt-free Guilt-full is a state of being thate
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