The Industrial Revolution's monstrous interchangeability
September, Aramis Phantom
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This thesis explores Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations as a reimagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and situates its argument in conversation with the work of Iain Crawford and Jay Stubblefield, critics who have previously discussed Great Expectations and its ties to Frankenstein. Taking the discourse in a new direction, in this thesis I argue that Great Expectations’ reimagining is based in much deeper concerns than previously suggested. I contend that the Industrial Revolution is at the heart of Dickens’s novel. Examining the character of Pip, I argue that interchangeability, consumerism, and the interplay of capitalism, objectification, and charity are at the forefront of this reworking of Shelley’s novel. In demonstrating that the Industrial Revolution is an integral influence on the themes and concerns expressed in Great Expectations, this thesis ultimately suggests the Industrial Revolution’s influence on non-industrial novels is more widespread than previously recognized.