• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Both "Great Expectations" and "To Kill A Mocking bird" Are novels about childhood. Discuss the similarities and differences between the two.

Extracts from this document...


Both "Great Expectations" and "To Kill A Mocking bird" Are novels about childhood. Discuss the similarities and differences between the two. Regardless of the two novels differences in location and time "Great Expectations" and "To Kill A Mockingbird" have many connections in their storylines. The two texts are bildungsroman in their style. This means that the two stories are written from the perspective of an adult looking back on their childhood. The storyline of "To Kill A Mockingbird" confronts many prejudicial issues of the time (mid 1930s) and setting (Maycomb County, Alabama). The main 'evil' confronted in the novel is racism, with the trial of Tom Robinson. Tom is a young black man charged with the rape of a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Even though Atticus Finch proves Mr. Robinson's innocence in court, the conscience of the town, steeped in injustice, violence and hypocrisy, finds him guilty of a crime he could not have committed. "Great Expectations" is the story of Philip Pirrip 'Pip' and follows his life from the age of seven to twenty-four. Pip helps a convict, Magwitch, to escape the law by supplying him with "a file and wittles", this later proves gainful because Pip is rewarded with his dream, to become hierarchy and win the heart of Estella, but Miss Havisham wishes her to break his heart. ...read more.


With the differences there are also similarities. The texts both introduce a figure of fear. In "Great Expectations" this person is Magwitch and in "To Kill A Mockingbird" he is Boo Radley. Both these characters at first seem frightening but in the end they save the narrative characters in some way. Magwitch assists Pip in a financial sense and Boo Radley physically aids Scout. These helpings out come about as a reward for earlier actions. Pip helps Magwitch escape with the fetching of a file and Scout defends Boo's actions and visits him in the period of the trial. In both novels the writer puts the readers ethical standings to the test. The law is a large part of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and Pip becomes a lawyer in "Great Expectations". In both texts the law differs from the typical social views of the time. In both novels the reader is persuaded to feel that the law is too harsh on both Magwitch and Tom Robinson. Magwitch is banned from the country and because he returns, is sentenced to death despite the fact that he has achieved lawful success. Mrs Dubose and Miss Havisham play a similar role in both books. They are both spiteful to the leading characters. ...read more.


Toward the end of the book, Ewell carries out a vendetta against Atticus and Tom's widow. At the climax of the book someone follows and attacks Jem and Scout, braking Jem's arm. When everything calms down Bob Ewell is found "lyin' on the ground... With a kitchen knife stuck up under his ribs." Again there is a question as to whether he fell on the knife or whether he was stabbed. There is a clear character development of the two story-telling characters. Pip learns, at the end of the book, that social status is not everything, but being true to oneself is the true way to happiness. Scout is brought up by Atticus to see that racial prejudices are immoral and ethnic minorities should not be segregated from the rest of society. Scout also matures in her attitude and dress-sense. She is, at the beginning of the book, a tomboy, but grows to become a lady. As that lady she tells the story of her childhood. Victorian readers of "Great Expectations" would have had their views of the class 'system' put on trial. They would have seen how a young boy struggles from extreme poverty to become a gentleman. They would have seen the restrictions put in place, by people like themselves, on the poorer classes. The two books reach a similar conclusion, the recognition that prejudicial attitudes towards either race or social status are unjustified. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Great Expectations Role of Magwitch

    are looking for him and when Pip and Joe (Pip's uncle, married to Pip's sister) join the search for the escaped prisoner, Pip then witnesses the arrest of Magwitch on Christmas Day. However when caught by the officers, Magwitch is found with the items that Pip had brought for him and the officers interrogate Pip.

  2. A Comparison between Of Mice and Men and Great Expectations.

    Dickens goes into great detail to set the scene. He describes the area as "Marsh Country" which stretches for twenty miles up to the coast. Pip is in a secluded graveyard overgrown and derelict. Beyond the graveyard is a "dark flat wilderness," "Intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes."

  1. Both Pip in Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations' and Jem and Scout in Harper Lee's ...

    For example when he is confronted by a convict in the churchyard, he constantly refers to him as 'Sir' and when leaving says 'Goo-good night, Sir'. Although Pip is stuttering and obviously inwardly terrified he continues to be polite. This adds great pathos to the story, but also adds a level of humour, for which Dickens is well known.

  2. Great Expectations

    He even asks Biddy (Joe's wife after the death of Mrs Joe) to improve Joe's manners in order to fit him for a 'higher sphere'. When Biddy answers that Joe has his own pride, Pip accuses her of envy. Pip's snobbish demeanour results in his refusal to be seen with

  1. Both 'Great Expectations' and 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' are about growing up. Compare ...

    Abel then helps Pip by giving him the financial backing so that he can become a gentleman. The convict is in a way just like Joe because he gives Pip unconditional love and support. The downside of Pip meeting Magwitch is that Magwitch tries to mould Pip into a gentlemen

  2. Lord of the Flies and Great Expectations - How circumstances cause characters to change.

    The man gives Pip some paper, which turns out to be a 2-pound note. Pip is excited about prospects of becoming a gentleman however Pip is afraid that his past may haunt him in his struggle in climbing out of his low society.

  1. Compare and contrast the education and upbringing of all the children in “Great Expectations” ...

    Estella took great pleasure in making Pip feel bad about him. "...gave me the bread and the meat without looking at me... as if I were a dog in disgrace." Here Charles Dickens portrays how children can be ill-used to suit the parent or guardian, and that they are being

  2. How do circumstances cause characters to change?

    Pumblechook are only being nice to Pip because he has money and they selfishly want some for himself, exploiting Pip. This is similar to what the Pockets were trying to do to Miss Havisham. This is Dickens' emphasis on Victorian society.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work