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development of pip

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Introduction

The psychological development of Pip's character in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations can be identified and examined as results of his changing circumstances. Through out the novel, themes of self-improvement, ambition, and innocence and of guilt are all explored and give bearing to the development of Pip's character. Great Expectations is essentially constructed of three volumes which are scripted to the three volumes of Pip's life; childhood, adolescence and finally adulthood. Through the influence of social and physical setting and the influence of minor and recurring characters, developments in Pip's perception of life and true moral understanding change. At the beginning of Great Expectations we are introduced to Pip, as he is midway through his childhood years. His older sister, and her husband Joe bring him up, as his parents and other relations are dead and buried. It is in the very first pages where we first see the true nature of his character, examining his parent's graves out on the marshes. Here Charles Dickens uses Pips narration to instil feelings and problems that are so often associated with a lonely childhood. " I give Pirrip as my fathers family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister- Mrs Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my fancies regarding what they looked like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstones." ...read more.

Middle

" Not with pleasure, though I was bound to him by so many ties; no; with considerable disturbance, some mortification, and a keen sense of incongruity... If I could have kep! t him away by paying money, I certainly would have paid money." (P. 218). This passage highlights Pip's changed sense of morality. He fears that his peers from Hammersmith will judge him based on the "lesser worth" of Joe. He fears that if he is rejected from the upper class because of his connection to Joe, he will have to return to the world of poverty and common bearing that he has tried so hard to separate himself from, his great expectations would become great disappointments. " I had the sharpest sensitiveness s to his being seen by Drummle, whom I held in contempt." With his own humiliation in mind, Pip's behaviour towards Joe re-enforces the theme of social contrast. The guilt that has come with his poor treatment of Joe in London, pressures Pip into returning home to apologize for his actions. The theme of guilt that originated from Pip's earlier encounter with the mysterious convict on the marshes, returns as Pip finds himself stuck in a coach with two escaped convicts. Pip tries to go unnoticed when he recognises one of the convicts to be the mysterious stranger that gave him money in the pub. Though the man does not recognise Pip, Pip overhears the two explaining that the convict that Pip had helped during his childhood had asked him to deliver the money to Pip. ...read more.

Conclusion

He realises that what he has been searching for his whole life, identity and morality has been in front of him the whole way in his journey through life. He realises that real self-improvement is in no way connected to social advancement or material gain, but rather portraying virtues of honesty, empathy and above all kindness. The one figure within his life that embodies all of these characteristics is his life long friend Joe Gargery. The psychological development of Pip's character in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations can be identified and examined as results of his changing circumstances. Through out the novel, themes of self-improvement, ambition, and innocence and of guilt are all explored and give bearing to the development of Pip's character. Pips perception of morality, the nature of real self-improvement and the search for identity developed through the three stages of his life. In childhood he longs desperately for a sense of identity, but the confrontation with the convict in the cemetery introduces his new desire for social advancement. During His adolescence he meets the beautiful Estella and falls in love with her despite her coldness towards him. Themes of social advancement and material gain are at the forefront as his desire to be with her is unobtainable through his "common bearings". His sudden inheritance of a large fortune obscures his perception of the world and therefore acts sno! bbishly towards his "lower class" loved ones. With the death of his sister and his transition from adolescence to adulthood, a newfound innocence the emergence of Pip's lost childhood qualities marks the change within in himself and the realisation of what it really means to be a gentleman. ...read more.

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