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

Compare the Portrayal of Childhood in "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens's and "The Fallen Idol" by Graham Green

Extracts from this document...


YEAR 11 GCSE ENGLISH Compare the Portrayal of Childhood in "GREAT EXPECTAIONS" by Charles Dickens's and "THE FALLEN IDOL" by Graham Green Both "Great Expectations" and "The Fallen Idol" are written by exceptional writers. The novel "Great Expectations" was set out in the Victorian period whereas the short story "The Fallen Idol" was set in the period of the 1940's in London. "Great Expectations" was a buildings roman. This showed the process of childhood developing into adulthood and gave much greater understanding of the character involved. Written in first person and from a child's point of view, "Great Expectation's" pivotal character was called 'Pip'. Being written in first person gave the reader a much more detailed view of the emotional side of the characters, and gave the reader a chance to relate to Pip. Pip's part in the novel was an orphan. Pip, being an orphan was very strong hearted and independent even though he lived with his sister and her husband. Being an orphan in the Victorian period was nothing new and uncommon. Despite having a hard life, Pip was uncommonly clever and intelligent and actually used his brain. Pip was a boy with a burning desire to learn and become better so that he could provide for his only family. We are shown this when it is said "I say, Pip, old chap! ...read more.


Joe would have been Mr. Pumblechook. You could describe Mrs. Joe as being two faced as she changed her personality only when he was around as it benefited her, Otherwise, normally she wouldn't hesitate to continue being cruel to Pip and her husband. They probably interacted well with each other as they shard the same theories on children like Pip. The constant negative and down putting attitude is almost certain to have an affect on Pip that tends to make him more rebellious, weak and structurally unsound, however this negative effect actually makes Pip's desire to grow up stronger, bigger and better than ever. In contrast to Pip in 'Great Expectations', Philip is a young, well mannered and polite individual who yearns for more, but, is brought up in a healthy family. Philip is constantly yearning to learn more and is very perceptive when it comes to the adult world. His eyes and ears work as sharp as any fox. Philip is in a similar situation to Pip, except that he is not an orphan and has a wealthy background. Philip, like Pip, gets along fantastically with Bains. Mrs. Bains however does not see eye to eye with Philip, although she shows a lot more compassion form him. Mrs. Bains often used more violence to discipline Philip. ...read more.


Maybe the book tried to convince us that pip was rather lucky than unfortunate in 'Great Expectations'? In contrast, the children on the 1940 lived a much better childhood. They may not all have been wealthy but they certain were better looked after and had more a childhood. Children's life expectancy rose dramatically and generally lived better and bigger lives with fewer hardships. Although Philip never saw his parents much because they were out working in order to pay for his well being, he spent most of time with Mr. and Mrs. Bains. Philip managed to become involved in the business of keeping secrets at a young age. He knew it was wrong but e probably felt entrapped. When Mrs. Baines died Philip probably did not realise the consequences of secrets and just made things worse for Baines. But he was hardly to blame was he? In conclusion of the short story 'The Fallen idol' and the novel 'Great Expectations', and the task of portraying childhoods in the two books, we realise that despite their differences, Pip and Philip were just two young people trapped in the adult world in some way. They were left confuses and uncertain of what they were to do. In ways it encourage them to move forward and not always trust everyone. They both saw that the answers did not always lie in adults; even they got it wrong sometimes, no matter who they were. ...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 expectation

    However when Pip enters the house excluded of all light, the completely different feeling of confinement and solitude is brought upon the reader. Overall, all of these contrasting atmospheres and feelings would create an effect of perplexing madness upon the house and its role model, Miss Havisham.

  2. Great expectation- charles dickens

    In extract two, Pip is taken by his uncle Pumblechook to play at Satis House, the home of the wealthy dowager Miss Havisham, who is an extremely eccentric lady. In this extract, Pip becomes aware of his own social class, when he plays with Miss Havisham's adopted daughter, Estella- who treats Pip very coldly and contemptuously.

  1. Discuss the way that Pips treatment by adults during his childhood affects his adult ...

    you up by hand", "Why is it that the young are never grateful?". This means to say that Pip should actually be grateful for being beaten by his sister which communicates how attitudes have changed since then. Another example of this is when the adults begin to discuss children whilst

  2. Write about the ways in which Charles Dickens presented the female characters in "Great ...

    On the other hand Estella is seen as beautiful is Pip's eyes, "beautiful and self possessed" However she is described as a "statue" because she lacks the ability to show her feelings, this is effective as it is a simile.

  1. Consider Dickens' portrayal of Pip's childhood in Chapters 1-19 of the novel "Great Expectations"

    His uncle, Mr Pumblechook, who is also a working class man, is bossy and harsh; "Seven times nine, boy?" Pip is ignored by his uncle and always insulated and embarrassed by questions that he gets asked. Miss Havisham, who is an old weird, half decayed woman likes Pip in the

  2. How might the readers respond to Dickens' portrayal of women in "Great Expectations"?

    Joe Gargery. She is able to physically abuse her husband, and succeeds n doing so purely because he grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father, and knows no better. The fact that Mrs. Joe abuses her husband is ironic because in the Victorian period, many women were in fact abused by their husbands.

  1. Great expectations may be read as a bildungsroman how does the first volume of ...

    Pip's guilt over punching the Pale Young Gentleman shows that he is starting to conform to upper class morals as he thinks he will go to jail because he attacked someone of higher class than him. "I felt that the Pale Young Gentleman's blood was on my hand and that the law would avenge it."

  2. How does Dickens present childhood in Great Expectations?

    Joe, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of Mrs Joe. Joe and Pip are more like best friends than a father and son relationship.

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