Comparing Hareton’s childhood abuse to Pip’s

While reading Great Expectations, I noticed that Pip shared many similarities with Hareton. Hareton, for example, was an orphan living in the house of the cruel Heathcliff. Hareton’s mother, Frances, was sickly and died of her illness. In a similar way, Pip’s mother also died of an illness. For example, Dickens writes, “From the character and turn of the inscription, “Also Georgiana Wife of the Above,” I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly.” This can especially be reflective of the time period when both books took place. Hygiene was poor and people often died young of illness or during childbirth.

Another similarity is that both Hareton and Pip are abused by the person who raises them. Heathcliff for example, deprives him of any economic power and reduces Hareton to a servant in his own home. Pip is beat regularly by his sister who raises him. Dickens says that, “she had brought me up “by hand.” Having at that time to find out for myself what the expression meant, and knowing her to have a hard and heavy hand, and to be much in the habit of laying it upon her husband as well as upon me, I supposed that Joe Gargery and I were both brought up by hand.” This is yet another connection to Wuthering Heights because in Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff is repeating the abuse that he had been subjected to on Hindley’s behalf. The abuse seen in both Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations is cyclic, and within families.

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