Great Expectations and Fairy tales Tolkien describes the facets which are necessary in a good fairy tales as fantasy, recovery, escape, and consolation - recovery from deep despair, escape from some great danger, but most of all, consolation. Speak- ing of the happy ending,�all complete fairy stories must have it�However fantastic or terrible the adventure, it can give to child or man that hears it,�a catch of breath, a beat and lifting of the heart near to tears.
(Uses of Enchantment, pg.143)
Great Expectations shares many of the conventions of fairy tales. The one dimensional characters, the use of repetition, and the evil women seem to make the similarities strikingly strong. However, are they strong enough to conclude that
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His generosity and forgiveness is demonstrated countless times in the story. When the escaped convict speaks about the food he stole from Joe and asks his forgiveness, Joe's response is not one of anger. "God knows you are welcome to it- so far as it was ever mine�we wouldn't have you starve to death (40). His forgiveness is further demonstrated by his reception and willingness to take care of Pip after Pip had been so cruel to him. He simply replies that "you and me was ever friends" (463). His wonderful kindness to his mean wife, Mrs. Joe, demonstrates his unconditional love. He speaks nicely of her even though she is not very nice to him. Biddy shares these characteristics with Joe. She still cares for Pip even though he has been rude to her and pushed her out of his life. Biddy and Joe are both totally good. However good and evil is not always so clear cut.
Some characters appear to fit the fairy tale pattern of being all bad or all good but when they are further explored it cannot be said that they do not fit totally into either side. Consider Molly. She was a "jealous woman, and a revengeful woman; revengeful to the last degree" (405). She had murdered another woman. She told her husband (Magwitch) that she had also killed their daughter (which was not true). But when given the option to give up her child so it would have a chance at life she agreed selflessly: "If you are saved, your child is saved too; if you are lost, your child is still saved"