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Dickens's support of improvements in child-labor laws and in prison conditions may make him seem to be an admirable person.However, Dickens was not as amiable a person as one might think from reading his fiction.
In is a postmodern biographical fiction whose main character, Geoffrey Braithwaite, tries to fully understand Gustave Flaubert by tracing a parrot mentioned in one of the author's works.
Braithwaite uses an analogy to describe the task of organizing a biography: You can define a net in one of two ways, depending on your point of view.
[and] she made it a powerful merit in herself, and a strong reproach against Joe, that she wore this apron so much. Joe wore the pants in the household, while Joe serves as an effete and effeminate child-like figure.
Pip never refers to his sister by her given name; she always retains the masculine name of her husband, an indication that she has taken over much more than masculinity from Joe.
Dickens mainly wrote about orphans because he felt abandoned by his parents as a child.
His father, John Dickens, was imprisoned in Marshalsea Prison for debt in 1824, and Dickens was forced to labor at Warren's Blacking Factory, which was a damaging psychological experience in itself, but his mother compounded the injury when she insisted that he continue working there, even after the debtor's prison released his father.
Joe Gargery, because he recounts: She was not a good-looking woman, my sister; and I had a general impression that she must have made Joe Gargery marry her by hand .... Joe, with black hair and eyes, had such a prevailing redness of skin that I sometimes used to wonder whether it was possible she washed herself with a nutmeg-grater instead of soap.
She was tall and bony, and almost always wore a coarse apron ...
His father's artlessness with finances compounded with his mother's domineering personality probably made Dickens view his father as weak and, at least psychologically, castrated, which Joe reflects in his hen-pecked position.
A short time before writing , Dickens had separated from his wife, began an affair with Ellen Ternan, quarreled with his old friend Thackeray, and burned many of his personal letters. [Dickens 99, 102, 103] We know that Pip's perceptions are unreliable because all of his expectations turn out to be wrong.