Motifs in Great Expectations

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  • MOTIFS IN GE
    • FIRE
      • To show Pip's guilt/conscience
      • Joe's forge-love, warmth, safety
      • Pumblechoock and Mrs Joe, bring in cold
      • Miss Havisham- burnt
    • TIME AND CLOCKS
      • Importance of change
      • Miss H, reluctance to move on
      • Miss H birthday- symbolic, won't age
      • Time passes in a strange fashion at Statis house
        • So unchanging was the dull old house, the yellow light in the darkened room, the faded spectre in the chair by the dressing-table glass, that I felt as if the stopping of the clocks had stopped Time in that mysterious place, and, while I and everything else outside it grew older, it stood still. (17.2)
      • Growing up and maturity
      • 8:40
    • SEEDS AND PLANTS
      • Pip's growth
        • Pip cannot grow under Mrs Joe's rule- prevents curiosity and learning
      • Pumblechoock locks away seeds in a prison much like Pip's life
      • Weedy plants in the garden
      • "I had a feeling that Estella and I might presently begin to decay" chapter 11
    • DARKNESS AND LIGHT
      • Estella brings light to the darkness- but leading Pip to bad
      • Darkness shows Pip's confusion
      • Light isn't always good- things aren't always what they seem
    • THE GOTHIC
      • Repressed fears/dark desires- Miss H
      • To scare/shock, add depth
      • Draws attention to the dark shadows and hidden corners of society
    • LOCKS AND KEYS
      • Authority, power
      • Gothic
      • Crime, Jails, Criminals
      • Barriers and gatekeepers- Estella, Statis House
      • Emphasise social immobility and the secrets that lie at the heart of the novel- trapped
      • Symbolise secrets and what is hidden
    • THE MIST
      • Reveals the truth
      • Foreshadows something bad is going to happen in the novel
      • Obscures the landscape and the truth
        • Mist inside Statis House (Pg 89) obscuring the truth about Miss H and Estella
    • FOOD AND EATING
      • Brings people together
        • Christmas Dinner
        • Jaggers inviting Pip and Herbert over, Wemmick
      • Sharing/Love
        • Joe and Pip- bread
        • Pip bringing the convict food
          • Charity/goodness
      • Decay and rot

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