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The Punishment of Women in Great Expectations Essay examples

Project id 1012669
Subject area Self Improvement
Document type Essay
Words 2205
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The Punishment of Women in Great Expectations In Great Expectations, a prevailing theme is crime and punishment, and the novel accordingly explores the role of women in the Victorian society. On the one hand, there are a couple female characters that are depicted with an inborn moral goodness; on the other hand, there are individuals who are morally depraved. The gap between those doubles is striking and sometimes exaggerated, which produces a clear contrast between the personalities who adapt to the imposed morals of Victorian culture, and people who don't. In the publication, it's evident that the characters of Mrs. Joe, Miss Havisham, both Molly and Estella are all portrayed as committing a moral offense for them not abiding to the societal norm for women of that time. Thus, it is suggested that, in order to be morally good, a lady should embody the Victorian ideals that implies being submissive to men and exhibiting a predetermined set of feminine traits. Apparently, these morally tainted characters challenge the social norms of Victorian culture, and are therefore punished into becoming more feminine. Mrs. Joe displays undesirable traits in a Victorian woman by being “[ tall and bony” (Dickens, p.8 ) and also having a “hard and heavy hand” (8). Instead of being compliant and submissive to Joe, Mrs. Joe defies the social hierarchy by being violent, and thus positioning herself as being accountable: “[ she pounced on Joe, and, taking him by the two whiskers, knocked his head for some time against the wall behind him “(11). Therefore, she is described as having traditionally manly qualities rather than being a “good-looking woman” (8). But, according to Victorian standards, such dominant behavior is not morally appro...

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