What influenced the manner of Belinda Pocket's upbringing in "Great Expectations"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Belinda Pocket is helpless, dependent, and totally fixated upon titles and luxury; these elements of her character are the direct result of her upbringing.  Belinda was "the only daughter of a...knight, who had invented for himself a conviction that his deceased father would have been made a baronet but for somebody's determined opposition".  This gentleman had therefore "tacked himself on to the nobles of the earth" during his lifetime, and had actually managed to secure a knighthood for himself for some unremembered accomplishment.  Secure in his own belief in his family's prestigious lineage, Belinda's father had made sure that his daughter was "brought up from her cradle as one who in the nature of things must marry a title, and who was to be guarded from the acquisition of plebeian domestic knowledge".  As a consequence, Belinda grew up "highly ornamental, but perfectly helpless and useless", and completely out of touch with the real world.  Belinda eventually married Matthew Pocket, and belatedly earned her father's blessing.  Although after their marriage Matthew Pocket tried to acquaint his young bride with "the ways of the world", his efforts were met with little success (Chapter 23).

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Great Expectations

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