Women in Great Expectations

“Castigat Ridendo Mores” which means “laughing corrects morals,” was originally coined by the French poet Jean deSanteaul, a renound activist during the French revolution. He intended to discuss the absurdities of the French monarchy to inspire social change. In the case of Great expectations by Charles Dickens, his objective was one and the same: To inspire change in society. Pip Pirrup living in 19th-century England, is faced with many obstacles that he must face as he strives to “come of age. Through his journey however, certain feminine characters have an effect on his character and development and, his world view. Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations is a satirical novel that demonstrates the strong presence of women and their increasing influence in society through Mrs. Joe’s parenting techniques, Miss Havisham’s potent individual power toward men and Estella’s manipulative demeanor toward Pip.

Mrs. Joe is developed as a prominent character of influence regardless of her low social class; to shape the male characters around her. Joe, a timid blacksmith, has his power stripped from him from his authoritative wife Mrs. Joe. Dickens describes Mrs. Joe’s abusive conduct in the following way: ” Having at the time to find out for myself what the expression meant, and knowing her to have a hard and heavy hand, and to be much in the habit of laying it upon her

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husband as well as upon me, I supposed that Joe Gargery and I were brought up by hand ( Dickens 5)”. At face value, it’s a new aspect of women to achieve such a level of dominance. She is described as havingPip and Joe ” brought up by hand”.Its not saying that Mrs. Joe is the bread winner of the family but the individual with the most power. The irony is the fact that Joe is a black smith and has the capable brawn to be able to assert himself as the head of the house. Victorian England has established some women’s rights for lower class women to better themselves thou…