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Charles Dickens, ' Great Expectations' , portreys the main character Pip's childhood in various ways. 'Great Expectations' is a pre 20th century novel, showing how Pip's working class upbringing affects his childhood.

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Introduction

English coursework: plan Introduction Charles Dickens, ' Great Expectations' , portreys the main character Pip's childhood in various ways. 'Great Expectations' is a pre 20th century novel, showing how Pip's working class upbringing affects his childhood. Pip's Childhood Pip is an orphan, who lives with his sister Mrs. Joe Gargery and her husband Joe. We are led to believe that Pip's parents die when he is young and although he is too young to remember them he still feels he has some memories of them "unreasonably derived from their tombstones" showing that Pip never had the chance to see them. Pip lives in a poor, working class household, due to Joe being a low paid blacksmith. He does not have any priviledges or luxuries and evrything is basic. At the time Pip does not realise that this affects his lifestyle because he is a child and this is all he has ever known. ...read more.

Middle

Other causes were filthy living conditions and extremely poor medical care. For many poor, working class children, childhood or even life itself did not last long as they were forced to grow up quickly to survive. The victorians saw the discipline of their children as a very important issue. Many adults believed that children were ' born full of wickedness' and had to be 'beaten to make them obedient'. Dickens shows this in Great Expectations with references to the beating of Pip. Pip's sister repeatedly reminds everyone, and anyone who will listen, that she has "brought Pip up by hand" suggesting that she beats him "... she had brought me up 'by hand'" "... knowing her to have a hard and heavy hand, and to be much in the habit of laying it upon her husband aswell as upon me." Victorian children were forced to be obedient and withdrawn. They loved their parents un-doubtedly but sometimes only because they knew that they should. ...read more.

Conclusion

It wasn't until 1891 that elementary schools- schools much like Mr Wosple's Aunt's school that Pip attented of an evening, became free to all children of any class. These schools were often overcrowded and lacked the resources needed to learn, the little teaching people did was done using the bible, spelling books or "mangnall's questions". Schools for the poor were opened in the 19th century also, when it ' finally became apparent ' that children were being ' exlcluded ' from learning because of their class. This wasn't necessarily the case. Because children from lower classes had always been deprived of many things, one being an education, but in the 19th century someone decided at last to do something about it. These schools- named 'ragged schools' because of their pupils' appearence, sought out much needed voluntary teachers and raised funds to help children find work and learn basic skills such as reading and writing. The main aim of the 'ragged schools' was to provide a basic level of care for the most deprived children. ...read more.

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