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A Study on Psychological Archetypes of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations

Author GuoRong
Tutor ZhangXu
School Central South University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Dickens Miss Havisham tragic fate Anima Animus Shadow Persona Self
Type Master's thesis
Year 2008
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In Great Expectations (1861) Miss Havisham is portrayed by Dickens (1812-1870) as an odd image. Why does Dickens use Miss Havisham to subvert the traditional female image in the Victorian Age? How are the psychological characteristics and the psychological activities of Miss Havisham displayed in the novel? From the view of psychology, what has caused Miss Havisham’s tragedy? This thesis intends to address to the questions through the study of Miss Havisham’s tragic fate from the perspective of archetype in Carl Gustav Jung’s psychology.The whole thesis consists of three chapters. In the body part of the thesis, the author tries to analyze the tragic fate of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations from the perspective of Jung’s archetypes (Anima and Animus, Shadow, Persona, Self). In the introduction of the thesis the author introduces Dickens and Great Expectations, research questions, expected findings, literature review, approaches and methodology, and significance of the research. Chapter 1 states that Miss Havisham’s Animus is related to her family influence and it is her Animus that leads her to the wrong love for Compeyson and then results in her tragic fate. Chapter 2 expatiates Miss Havisham’s Shadow and her tragic fate. Miss Havisham’s jilting by Compeyson becomes her deep Shadow of morality and leads to her cruel behaviors to men. Chapter 3 illuminates Miss Havisham’s Persona and Self and her dual character and her tragic life. It is the conflict between Persona and Self that leads to her dual character which is the major cause for her tragic life. In the end it is the conclusion.The research purpose of this thesis is to show that with the view of archetype in Jung’s psychology readers can get a better understanding of the tragic female image of Miss Havisham and Great Expectations.

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