Great Expectations

The fundamental aspect of belonging is more than often associated with security and acceptance. The possession of these essential elements guides humanity into happiness. It is however only when an individual is capable of transforming into their true character that genuine belonging can be experienced and sheltered, a place like a home. Hence, belonging is not only a desire to be attached to something but also endorses deeper-rooted aspects. These aspects are exposed in the novel Great expectations by Charles Dickens, the film- animated Shrek by Andrew Adamson and the painting Separation by Edvard Munch.

Great expectations was first published in 1861 during the Victorian Era of colonisation and convicts. The Bildungsroman novel begins with the narrator Pip explaining how his name came to be after being unable to pronounce his original, Christian name Phillip Pirrip; “my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or explicit than Pip”. The reader is guided to the first aspect of existential belonging as Pip cannot live up to his family name thus giving himself a name which shelters his knowledge and security. As Pip does not belong in the beginning, it is also foreshadows that he will encounter further phases of being unable to belong in the novel.

Through the use of exposition, the reader becomes aware that Pip is in a church yard in which he meets the convict, Magwitch, who ‘seizes’ Pip and advises him to bring him ‘food and a file’ or else his ‘his heart and liver tore out, roasted and ate’ by a young man accompanying the convict. Although this man is not existent, it is used as a metaphorical expression to articulate how Pips ‘great expectations’ symbolically eats him and turns him into a ‘horrible, young man’. To save himself from such misfortune, Pip continues on to his house, where he lives with his sister Miss Gargery and her husband Joe. It is this house that Pip feels real belonging sheltering his social class and his true identity....