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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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