Abstract

This paper concerns optative or counterfactual self-understanding both in general and as it shapes the narrative structure, moral psychology, and emotional logic of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations. Who Pip is, in that novel, is thoroughly expressed by his understanding of who he is not; before anything else, he is not the sort of man Estella would love. In claiming that this optative self-understanding structures the narrative he authors, I also propose that it has internal and essential relations to realism more broadly.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 773-796
Launched on MUSE
2012-08-29
Open Access
No
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