Dickens’ Abused Little Pip


Oh, Pip you’re quite a sad little character.  He’s just one of those sad abused little fiction boys you just want to take home.  I’m glad he has Joe but all the same, it’s a pretty sad situation.  This got me to thinking of other sad little orphans in literature and you know what?  There are tons of them.  Yes, apparently the human spirit must have an underdog to cheer for and whose more beaten down than an orphan.  I think the orphans are presented so much because they speak to a very real fear we all had as children.  The loss of a parent is a primitive loss that just seems so vile to us.  Even losing your parents as an adult is heartbreaking, so for a child to endure it you know is horrible.  So I thought about it and here are some that I came up with.

  • Harry Potter
  • Cinderella
  • Bruce Wayne
  • David Copperfield
  • Heathcliffe
  • Dorothy Gale
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • Heidi
  • Tarzan
  • Mowgli
  • Jane Eyre
  • Oliver Twist
  • Spider-Man
  • Superman
  • James Bond
  • Ponyboy Curtis
  • Santa Claus

I mean our literature, films, and super heroes are all better when they are orphaned.  I wonder who started this trend and where the blame for this sadness lays?  Who made the orphan a staple for our brains?  I mean we have to go back a long time and we still see the orphan featured in writings.  We can go back to the beginnings of written time and find the orphan mythology.

Think about it: Aandaal (Tamil saint), Aristotle, Cyrus the Great, Oedipus, Moses, Muhammad, Remus (founder of Ancient Rome) were all orphans.  The list goes on and on.  They are embedded into our minds and hearts and we can’t seem to shake them.  Would we want to shake them?  There would have been no Spider-Man, Batman, or Superman if they had had parents.  Harry Potter would never have been the chosen one.  Cinderella would never have had to lose her glass slipper.  I mean the context of our imagination would have to shift.  So while my heart continues to break for the Pips of literature, I am profoundly grateful to them for being written.


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