Charles Dickens's Great Expectations; New Edition (Bloom's by H Bloom (ed.)

By H Bloom (ed.)

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Extra info for Charles Dickens's Great Expectations; New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)

Sample text

PMLA 91 (1976): 259–65.

To hook himself up again” (39). Likewise, Miss Havisham’s appearance suggests a false resurrection and makes Pip think of “a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress, that had been dug out of a vault under the church pavement” (87). 44). Moreover, on Christmas Eve, Pip is also born into a guilt like the first Adam’s, into something like the Fall and not into the new innocence and forgiveness of those just baptized. His growing guilt accounts for the moral death that comes more and more to possess him.

Most important, I suggest, is the contrast 24 Gail Turley Houston of Miss Havisham’s asceticism with Little Nell, Florence, Agnes, and Little Dorrit and their insistent indifference to eating. In fact, I believe that in Great Expectations Dickens faces the fact that in a consumer society the lack of appetite in a character like Miss Havisham is a grotesque display of the miraculous anorexia that the younger Dickens had expected to mediate aggressive market demands. Indeed, as Miss Havisham ascetically nibbles in her decaying house, she watches the natural world—or rather, supernatural—mimic the intrusion of the economic and public into her very private sphere as spiders invade and devour her decomposing wedding cake.

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