Thesis

Biblical allusion, Christian typology and Jungian archetypes in Charles Dickens' Great expectations: exposing the morality of immorality

In the following thesis, I argue that Great Expectations shows the immorality of morality and the morality of immorality through the use of the flawed but redemptive hero and the flawed but redeemed heroine. Charles Dickens deliberately uses Biblical types to gain a resonance with his readers and to impart a message designed to celebrate those who embrace ambition and passion. Along that same vein, I also use Jungian archetypal theory. It helps add greater depth and complexity to the use of Biblical typology and the study of Great Expectations. The first nine pages explore, in a general fashion, Dickens' creation of Great Expectations, as well as a sense of my methodology and the parameters of my research. The second section delineates the similarities between Pip, the hero of Great Expectations, the archetypal hero on a quest and Jesus Christ. The third section looks at the character of Joe Gargery as an example of a God-type of figure. The fourth section discusses Biddy as an example of the Virgin Mary and an example of the archetypal maternal figure. The fifth section declares the similarities between Estella, the repentant prostitute and the archetypal maiden. The last two sections discuss the gradual uniting of Pip with Estella, a union that redeems the most heinous criminals and uplifts the most pitiful lives.

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