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Motifs: Crime, Punishment, and Guilt

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1 Motifs: Crime, Punishment, and Guilt
Great Expectations Motifs: Crime, Punishment, and Guilt Moshe Kollmar

2 Stage One Crime As Pip stands in the graveyard in the beginning of the book reading his parents’ tombstone, he is approached by a convict, later identified as Abel Magwitch, who scares him into stealing some food to eat and an iron file to remove the chains of imprisonment. As he goes to give the stolen goods to the convict, he stumbles upon another convict, later identified as Compeyson, the former boss and betrayer of Magwitch. During Christmas dinner, the some soldiers come by to talk to Mr. Joe Gargery, Pip’s brother-in-law, and foster father. Joe is expected to repair some chains to be used to capture a pair of escaped convicts, Compeyson and Magwitch. At the Three Jolly Bargemen, a customer drinking with Joe and Mr. Wopsle stirs his drink with the iron file that Pip had given to Magwitch. Mrs. Joe is a victim of physical assault, and receives a severe blow to her head. She can no longer do anything comprehensibly, and cannot identify her batterer. Later, we find out it was Orlick.

3 Stage One Punishment When Pip returns from the graveyard, he is beaten by his sister for disappearing. When Joe sticks up for Pip, Mrs. Joe switches the target of her beating to her husband. Orlick harms Mrs. Joe to punish her for her verbal abuse of him, calling him an “idle hulker,” “the worst rogue between this and France,” and a servant to “the dunderheaded king of the noodles.” In Stage Two, Mrs. Joe dies of her injuries.

4 Stage One Guilt Even before Pip steals for Magwitch, he is haunted by his conscience about stealing from his sister. During Christmas dinner with Mr. Wopsle, Uncle Pumblechook, Joe, Mrs. Joe, and a few others, Pip is driven crazy with guilt for not showing proper gratitude to his sister for bringing him up by hand. He also feels guilty for his theft and clutches the table leg with all his might while awaiting his fate as Uncle Pumblechook drinks tar water instead of the brandy Pip stole. Pip feels guilty about stealing for Magwitch, especially once Magwitch is recaptured and takes the blame for the theft himself. Upon his return from his first visit to Miss Havisham’s, Pip is interrogated by his sister about what went on there. After lying profusely, Pip feels guilty and tells Joe that he lied, and feels even guiltier when he realizes Joe had believed him.

5 Stage Two Crime When Pip travels to London to meet Mr. Jaggers at Jaggers’s law office, Mr. Jaggers is not in the office. Pip ventures out for a walk, and when he eventually returns, Jaggers is working with his criminal clients. Miss Havisham regards her lover’s betrayal as a conspiracy between him and her half-brother and as a crime, punishable upon all the men in the world. When Herbert and Pip ride in a coach to Pip’s hometown with two criminals, including the one from the Three Jolly Bargemen. In the coach, these criminals talk of an acquaintance (Magwitch), who was helped by a boy in the marshes (Pip). Before meeting with Estella in London, Pip goes with Wemmick to Newgate Prison and is disgusted when he wonders what she would think of him visiting prisons. Pip finds out his benefactor was in fact a criminal, in fact the same man he helped in the swamp so many years previously.

6 Stage Two Punishment Herbert Pocket explains to Pip why Miss Havisham wants to punish the entire male gender, and has raised Estella to be the same. Pip finds out that the only reason he was taken to Miss Havisham’s was so she could punish him for the sins of men earlier in her life.

7 Stage Two Guilt At Miss Havisham’s Estella shows a slight hint of guilt at having sat and watched Pip fight with Herbert. As she and Pip walk in the garden, she says, “I must have been a singular creature to hide and see that fight that day  but I did, and I enjoyed it very much.” As Estella reacts coldly to Miss Havisham the first time, Miss Havisham is filled with guilt as she realizes what a monster she made Estella into. On the first night of Magwitch’s visit, Pip remembers the promise he made to Biddy to visit Joe often, and feels guilty about not keeping it.

8 Stage Three Crime Provis tells Pip his tale of entering the world of crime: how he was manipulated by Compeyson and Compeyson’s friend Arthur, and betrayed by Compeyson so as to be the one punished for Compeyson’s crimes. One night in February, Pip and Wopsle see each other from across the street. When they meet up, Wopsle asks Pip who the man with Pip was. Upon some interrogation, Wopsle describes Pip’s follower from the theater as “One of those two prisoners [that they had seen during Christmas Dinner the year Pip helped Magwitch] … the one who had been mauled,” which Pip deduces to mean Compeyson. Wemmick tells Pip that Jaggers’s servant Molly had been tried for a murder committed soon after she had a baby girl, but was acquitted.

9 Stage Three Punishment
Magwitch was punished, but Compeyson got off lightly. Long after punishing Pip’s sister in Stage One, Orlick decides to punish Pip for Pip’s badmouthing him privately to Biddy. Orlick sends Pip a letter telling him to come alone to the marshes the next night, where he is promptly bound very tightly. At that point, Orlick confesses to killing Mrs. Joe. If not for the prompt arrival of some of Pip’s friends, Pip may have died.

10 Stage Three Guilt Pip unsuccessfully attempt to have Miss Havisham feel some guilt for her allowing him to believe falsely that Mr. Jaggers had a role in him visiting Miss Havisham. After Estella marries, Miss Havisham feels guilt for what she has done to Pip and Estella, and asks him for forgiveness.

11 The End Book Author Charles Dickens Slide Show Creator Moshe Kollmar
Slide Editor Moshe Kollmar Animator-in-Chief Moshe Kollmar Director Moshe Kollmar The Cast of the Slideshow: Pip Estella, daughter of Magwitch and Molly, adopted by Miss Havisham Molly, Jaggers’s servant and Estella’s mother Uncle Pumblechook, Joe’s uncle Abel Magwitch, aka Provis, Estella’s father Miss Havisham, Estella’s foster mother Joe Gargery, Pip’s brother-in-law Mrs. Joe Gargery, Pip’s sister Compeyson, Miss Havisham’s lover Orlick Mr. Jaggers Mr. Wemmick, Jaggers’s clerk Mr. Wopsle Herbert Pocket Arthur, Miss Havisham’s half-brother Biddy

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