Objectification In Great Expectations

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Register to read the introduction… Those who have read ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens would be aware that ‘Havisham’ refers to Miss Havisham in the book. The lack of an honorific title symbolises her embarrassment and denial about her rejection in love and moreover puts her on par with characters like Hamlet and Othello, who weren’t at any point called ‘Prince Hamlet’ or ‘General Othello’. This technique used by Duffy portrays the persona as being of great importance; however, to anyone who hasn’t read the book, the question remains: who, or what is ‘Havisham’? Both the title and the first line of the poem ‘Salome’, also by Duffy, is a single word: Salome. Igniting our curiosity, we wonder: what’s Salome? It could be a person, a place or a thing. This uncertainty is what encourages the reader to continue reading. Lastly, ‘The Farmer’s Bride’ is a perfect example of objectification. This suggests to the reader that the wife is the property of the farmer, which is further emphasised by the lack of a name for her throughout the poem. According to the context of the poem, this was customary of the time: in the 19th Century, many farmers would choose wives who had a useful skill set for life on a farm. The institution of marriage gave total legal authority to the …show more content…
The persona of Havisham lacks stability and the relationship in ‘Quickdraw’ is whimsical and fast-paced, emphasised by the two lines: “you ring, quickdraw, your voice a pellet in my ear, and hear me groan”. These erratic verses are followed by the crux of the poem, cleverly disguised by Duffy through the use of enjambment. If lines 5 and 9 are put together, they read “you’ve wounded me through the heart”. This ingenious manipulation of structure intensifies the meaning of the poem and makes us sympathise with the speaker about her failed relationship. On the other hand, it is the chaotic structure and rhyme scheme in ‘The Farmer’s Bride’ that reflects the wife’s apparently unpredictable personality. At first, the wife is described by Mew as not being a woman, but more like “a little frightened fay”. On the surface, this simile would suggest that she was a demure, lithe character who is afraid of human contact; nevertheless, according to Elizabethan folklore, fays – also called fairies or faeries – were wicked creatures that would happily unleash their wrath on those who didn’t cajole them and comply with their every demand. This paints a much more alarming picture of her persona, which could somewhat reflect Charlotte Mew’s own mental state, as she had a thorough insight into mental illnesses.

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