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How can I set up an essay about this quotation from Great Expectations, with analysis,...

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emoemo | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted May 3, 2013 at 11:13 PM via web

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How can I set up an essay about this quotation from Great Expectations, with analysis, and with the essay related to the dream and hope themes? 

Quotation from Great Expectations:

"Whenever I watched the vessels standing out to sea with their white sails spread, I somehow thought of Miss Havisham and Estella; and whenever the light struck aslant, afar off, upon a cloud or sail or green hill-side or water-line, it was just the same. Miss Havisham and Estella and the strange house and the strange life appeared to have something to do with everything that was picturesque.”

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 4, 2013 at 7:26 AM (Answer #1)

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A literary analysis essay is one that examines a specific element of a work and analyzes how this idea is developed in the literary work. This examination of the development of the specific element must be thorough and prove what is contended in the thesis statement. So, if the thesis is that the theme of hopes and dreams helps to develop the character of Pip in Great Expectations, you will need to locate passages that support this idea. Here are some ideas to consider:

In contrast to the horizon upon which Pip gazes longingly, there are the mists and marshes that symbolize his ambiguity and confusion and guilt.  On the marshes, the damp often seems riveted to Pip just as the leg iron has been riveted to the convict. Pip seeks to free himself by putting his hopes in a new life; this new life is represented by his gazing longingly at

 ...the vessels standing out to sea with their white sails spread

as he contemplates Satis House and Miss Havisham and Estella, in whom his hopes of becoming a gentleman lie. Later, he tells Biddy,

“I am not at all happy as I am. I am disgusted with my calling and with my life. I have never taken to either since I was bound [apprenticed to Joe]. Don't be absurd.”

When Pip is told that he has "great expectations," his hopes increase as he dreams of marrying Estella, the "star" on that white horizon he has looked to since he has been a boy. Time and time again, he returns to Satis House or meets the coach in London, looking for Estella in his hope that she will fall in love with him and marry him. This hope is the contrapuntal beat of his narrative. For, everywhere he goes, Pip feels "caged and threatened" as he pursues his goal.

 

 

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