The Motif Of Hands In Charles Dickens Great Expectations

681 Words3 Pages
Through time society and social class have greatly changed but one part that is prominent during any era of time is how we view people. As a society we tend to group people by how they look, talk, act. Social class structure was formed as a main part of society. In Charles Dickens Great Expectations he presents the reader the division among people and the injustices people face. Great Expectations was written during the Victorian Era so Dickens gives readers an insight on the beliefs and values of that time. Dickens specifically uses the motif of hands to represent the social class structure, characteristics of people, and the relationship between the social classes. Appearances have consistently been considered a vital part of how you present yourself. Just as we judge people by their appearance today, the Victorian Era defined people by how they looked. You could tell if a person is of higher status or lower class by their hands. Dickens portrays his characters just by the look of their hands. He uses the motif of…show more content…
Men in the lower class such as Pip and Joe had hands that display their work as a blacksmith. As Pip strives to become a gentlemen he beings to be ashamed by his clothes, home, and even his hands. At the Satis house Estella described him by saying, “And what coarse hands he has!” …I had never thought of being ashamed of my hands before, but I began to consider them a very indifferent pair.” (Dickens 59) Pip never saw hands as an important aspect of himself that showed he was from lower class. Until Pip decided to become a gentlemen, he never saw hands as anything relevant just as Joe is still clueless to the ‘meaning’ of his grimy hands . In contrast Estella and Miss Havisham have beautiful, soft hands that display their upper class status. Molly, on the other hand, has bruised and battered hands which tell all about her past and the great ‘battles’ she has

    More about The Motif Of Hands In Charles Dickens Great Expectations

      Open Document