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thought of blacks Great Expectations- Character Analysis

Estella Havisham:
Most readers are appalled at the cold-hearted and cruel ways of Estella, but any criticism directed at her is largely undeserved. She was simply raised in a controlled environment where she was, in essence, brainwashed by Miss Havisham. Nonetheless, her demeanor might lead one to suspect that she was a girl with a heart of ice. Estella is scornful from the moment she is introduced, when she remarks on Pip's coarse hands and thick boots. However, her beauty soon captivates Pip and she is instilled as the focal point of his thoughts for much of the remainder of the novel. The fact that Pip becomes infatuated with her is also not Estella's fault. By no means is there any evidence that she loved him. She does not flirt with him in any way. Rather, she tortures Pip with her cruel treatment. Despite her abhorrent quality, Estella is extremely candid; because she seems to have no need for affection, she is able to tell things as she sees them without a thought of what someone else may think. This is in contrast to Pip's obsession of his every action being approved by Miss Havisham and Estella. Estella is also quite intelligent. She is very aware of the manner in which Miss Havisham raised her. She tells Miss Havisham, "I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me." (Chapter 38). Finally, by the end of the novel, Estella has changed. Through her marriage with Bentley Drummle, she has suffered to learn some valuable life lessons that have transformed her character. Pip remarks on the stark reversal of the once hard Estella, "...what I had never seen before, was the saddened softened light of the once proud eyes; what I had never felt before, was the friendly touch of the once insensible hand." (Chapter 59).
Joe Gargery:
Joe is the only one of Dickens' characters who stands opposed to and apart from the main current of action. He stays away from London, for the most part, and only intervenes when needed. He is always present in Pip's mind, and tends to remind both Pip and the reader of those values in Pip that were crushed during the evolution of his expectations. Joe is an honest and industrious fellow, although he sometimes comes across as foolish to other characters in the novel. He is also a generous and forgiving man, which is illustrated by his reaction to having some food taken from his house by the convict. Joe tells the convict that he was welcome to it, since it kept the convict from starving. Joe is also the only character in the novel with no real property. All that he counts as his own are his tools; all else, in Joe's mind, belongs to Mrs. Joe. His freedom from material goods and the desire for them sets him apart from the "gentlemen" like Pumblechook in the novel. Joe was a child of an abusive family; his father was a drunkard and beat Joe and his mother. The epitaph that Joe composes for his father reveals the extent of his forgiving nature. The same epitaph, "Whatsum-er the failings on his part, Remember, reader, he were that good in his hart," applies to Pip, as well, as he finishes his adventures. Joe is far more significant than the virtuous and kindly blacksmith he appears to be. Dickens refers to him as "holy", and the cottage has an air of "sanctity" for Pip. Joe is opposed to all false values, and does not present his view in bombastic speeches, but rather within himself and in his convictions. Joe also rejects the importance of property, pretty speech, and manners. Joe is also a very honorable and dignified man, which is sensed immediately by Miss Havisham. His understanding of peopleand his sensitivity allows him to sense intuitively whether he is wanted by Pip or is merely making him uncomfortable. The fire of Joe's forge is the light of the innate goodness of man, and a light of hope amidst the false lights of the world that Dickens ... more

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Moby Dick By Herman Melville

The Characters and Plot
There are numerous characters in Moby Dick, but only a few of them
have any impact on the story.  A common sailor named Ishmael is the
narrator.  The book, however, focuses on Captain Ahab, the one-legged
commander of the whaling ship Pequod.  Ahab has sworn to kill the
gigantic whale Moby Dick, who took away his leg.  Starbuck is the
first mate of the Pequod.  Queequeg, Tashtego, and Daggoo are the
three  harpooners.
The story begins with Ishmael becoming restless.  He decides to go
out to sea on a whaling ship.  In the port of New Bedford, he meets
and shares a room with a harpooner named Queequeg.  The two of them
become close friends, and agree to ship out together.
The day after they reach Nantucket, Ishmael begins searching for a
whaling ship preparing to leave harbor.  Out of three ships ready to
leave, he chooses the Pequod.  The owners of the ship, Captains Peleg
and Bildad are excited to hear of Queequeg from Ishmael and gladly
let him join the crew.  They are told the captain of the ship is
named Ahab.  Peleg and Bildad say that he is a good man, but because
of some strange illness, he is confined to his cabin.
On Christmas day, and with Ahab still in his cabin, the Pequod sets
sail in the Atlantic.  As the weather begins to warm up (several
months after leaving port), Ahab is finally seen on deck.  The
strangest thing about Ahab is his leg.  Instead of flesh and bone, he
has a white ivory peg leg.
As the weeks wear on, Ahab starts to become friendlier.  One day, he
calls the crew before him.  He tells them that the sole mission of
the Pequod is to kill Moby Dick.  Moby Dick is a gigantic sperm whale
with a crooked jaw and a deformed forehead.  He has never been
defeated, and has attacked and sunk entire ships.  Ahab admits he
hates Moby Dick for taking his leg away, and wants revenge.  The crew
agree to this challenge, and swear to hunt him down.  The only who is
not excited about hunting down Moby Dick is first-mate Starbuck.
For many months, the Pequod sails South, through the Atlantic,
around the Cape of Good Hope (the southern tip of Africa), and into
the Indian Ocean.  Along the way, they kill and drain the spermaceti
oil from every sperm whale they encounter.  Each time they meet
another ship, Ahab begins the conversation with Hast seen the White
Whale?.
Finally, after entering the Japanese sea, the Pequod encounters a
whaling ship named the Enderby.  The Enderbys captain had just
recently lost his arm to Moby Dick.  Ahab becomes so excited at the
news that he breaks his ivory leg.  The ships carpenter builds him a
new one.
Once reaching the waters around the equator, the Pequod meets
another whaling ship, the Rachel.  They had seen Moby Dick, and had
become separated from one of the whaling boats during the battle.
Ahab refuses to help them look for the missing men.
At last, Moby Dick is spotted by Ahab.  In the first day of
fighting, the whale is harpooned many times, but escapes after
smashing Ahabs boat.  On the second day, the whale is harpooned
again, but still escapes.  On the third day, Ahabs harpoon pierces
the whale, but the rope catches him by the neck and Moby Dick drags
him to the bottom of the sea.  An angry Moby Dick rams and sinks the
Pequod.  Only Ishmael survives, and he is rescued by the Rachel.
My Response
Moby Dick was not the novel I expected.  I was under the impression
that it would be about seafaring and the whale Moby Dick.  Instead,
Moby Dick is a story about Captain Ahabs obsession.  There is very
little in the story about the revenge itself, just about Ahabs
monomania.  Out of 465 pages, only forty-two of them deal with the
actual battle between Ahab and Moby Dick.
The novel places very little emphasis on actual seafaring.  Ishmael
never even steps on a boat until page seventy-four.  Even when the
ship finally leaves port, the mention of anything involving sailing
or the life of sailors is kept to an absolute minimum.
There is, however, plenty of emphasis is on whaling, the anatomy of
whales, and their behavior.  The book goes into great detail
describing the whalers of Nantucket, and gives in-depth explanations
of the different types of whales, quoting several outside sources in
the process.  The narrator mentions the awesome size of the sperm
whale, ... more

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