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Describe a key theme in Great Expectations and how it demonstrates Pip's growth as a character.

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Introduction

- Describe a key theme in Great Expectations and how it demonstrates Pip's growth as a character. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a novel that focuses on the life of Philip Pirrip and his expectations. Throughout the book these expectations change and as they do, the reader comes to realise the key theme of how a character's upbringing and environment can dehumanise them. This essay will examine this key theme and how it demonstrates and helps the reader understand Pip's growth as a character. Initially, Pip is a very compassionate and sensitive character. We see this right from the start as the first scene describes him at his families' grave crying. The reason for this behaviour at this stage of the book is Pip's sister and guardian Mrs Joe Gargery. ...read more.

Middle

This quote demonstrates Pip's growth as a character as it shows the speed at which he has changed into more arrogant and self-righteous Pip since his childhood. It helps the reader understand the theme of how a character's upbringing and environment can dehumanise them, by showing that in his new, wider-boundary environment, Pip has become somewhat dehumanised. This dehumanisation is demonstrated in this conversation, as Pip's manner is made to seem selfish and arrogant to underline the gap between Pip's humanised place of upbringing and his somewhat dehumanised state in London. After Mrs Joe's death, Pip seems more compassionate and thoughtful. This is because his visit back to his place of birth has helped him realise the change that he has undergone while he has been away by showing him the emotional distance he ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Pip reacted throughout the novel towards his environment and upbringing in both negative and in the end positive ways. At the beginning of the novel, he seemed a very modest and sensitive young boy. However when he receives his expectations this marks the beginning of the changes and dehumanisation that he undergoes whilst he is in London. Thankfully though, after his experience at Mrs Joe's funeral Pip realises these changes that he has undergone and endeavours to be more compassionate and thoughtful. This shows the reader that Pip has almost completed a full circle of growth, in terms of his behaviour in relation to his upbringing and environment, and this was reinforced by the main theme of how a character's upbringing and environment can dehumanise them. Andrew Logie ...read more.

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