“In the little world in which children have their existence whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.” is a quotation from the Great Expectations (Chapter 8).
My sister’s bringing up had made me sensitive. In the little world in which children have their existence whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice. It may be only small injustice that the child can be exposed to; but the child is small, and its world is small, and its rocking-horse stands as many hands high, according to scale, as a big-boned Irish hunter. Within myself, I had sustained, from my babyhood, a perpetual conflict with injustice. I had known, from the time when I could speak, that my sister, in her capricious and violent coercion, was unjust to me. I had cherished a profound conviction that her bringing me up by hand gave her no right to bring me up by jerks. Through all my punishments, disgraces, fasts, and vigils, and other penitential performances, I had nursed this assurance; and to my communing so much with it, in a solitary and unprotected way, I in great part refer the fact that I was morally timid and very sensitive.
In this quote, the main character and narrator, Pip, reflects on how harsh his upbringing has been as a child. Both Pip’s parents died when he was very young, leaving his older sister to look after him. His sister, referred to in the novel as Mrs. Joe, was cruel to Pip and would beat him.
Charles Dickens wrote a number of references to children feeling injustice. In his own upbringing he felt he was unfairly treated, particularly by his Mother, who made him work instead of getting an education, even after the family’s debt issues were resolved.
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