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DISCUSS HOW DICKENS ESTABLISHES THE IDENTITY OF YOUNG PIP AT THE START OF THE NOVEL

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Introduction

DISCUSS HOW DICKENS ESTABLISHES THE IDENTITY OF YOUNG PIP AT THE START OF THE NOVEL 'Great Expectations' is the story about a low, working class boy who, as he grows, is said to achieve great things in life. He changes from being a common boy to a rich gentlemen through the help of his secret benefactor. The novel covers a variety of themes such as: Love, desire, autobiography, ancestry, education and social conditions. The novel also conforms to the idea of a bildungsroman but it is Dickens writing in the life of Pip. In the novel, Dickens also explores different of Victorian England such as how only rich kids were educated. The working class children only attended a Sunday school if not any. Even though Dickens has written Great Expectations he still keeps it in the form of a Bildungsroman as Pip is the narrator of his own story. This affects the reader because we read the story through Pip's point of view and we learn about his feelings and thoughts. The reader learns from chapter 1 that Pip is an orphan who is living with his sister and her husband. Pip's portrayed as a timid and diminutive child. When we first meet Pip in the graveyard, the atmosphere is "bleak" and "the wind is rushing". When Pip meets the convict in the graveyard he "pleads in terror" and says "O! Don't cut my throat, sir". This evokes that he's respectful to his elders as he addresses the convict as "sir". ...read more.

Middle

The difference between them is also conveyed when Estella doesn't call by his name, but instead calls him "boy". This makes Pip feel degraded and also supports my statement about Estella being insulting. Until this point Pip wasn't aware of his class and social standing in the hierarchy. When pip realises he is working class he feels really upset and ashamed. He doesn't want to be from a working class background; he wants to be the same as Estella and Miss Havisham. He partly doesn't want to be from working class because he doesn't like the way Estella criticises him because of his appearance and the class he is. He gets hurt because of the way she talks to him slightly spitefully and mockingly. From this point onwards, Pip greatly desires to change into a proper "gentleman". Estella's words and actions encourage Pip's desire to change. He wants to change his appearance, the way he talks, looks and acts. But most importantly; he wishes to change his identity. He no longer appreciates who he is and wants to become the type of man other people will approve of, even if he won't be happy in his own heart. The first-person narration increases our understanding and sympathy for Pip because we understand how he's feelings and what's going through his mind; especially during awkward situations. We come across his wild imagination and his fears. It also helps us to especially understand Pip's emotions when he goes through awkward circumstances. ...read more.

Conclusion

"It's a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home. There may be black ingratitude in the thing, and the punishment may be retributive and well deserved; but, that it is a miserable thing, I can testify." This depicts that Pip was discontented with his home life and never enjoyed his life at home. This conveys that Pip's social conditions weren't pleasant. This was yet another one of the many reasons why Pip had a desire to change his identity. He wanted to improve his lifestyle and the way he lived; he wanted to live a comfortable life. He doesn't want to live in the same conditions he lived in when he was young; he wants to live in better social conditions where he is happy. To conclude, Pip's identity changed from a working class boy to a rich and improved gentleman. He fulfilled his desires, by getting an education and improving his social conditions, all in trying to achieve his love; Estella. He wanted to impress Estella and become the type of gentleman that Estella would fancy. Her criticism of him urged him, to change himself. At the start of "Great Expectations", Dickens tries to focus the reader's attention on Pip and make them feel sympathetic towards Pip. He introduces Pip as the kind of character you like and feel sorry for. I think Dickens does this so the reader's opinion changes of Pip as he slowly changes and also so that the reader notices the drastic change in his identity. I think Dickens was quite successful in establishing the change in Pip's character and identity. (SAY WHY HE WAS SUCCESFUL) ?? ?? ?? ?? Amisha Patel 10s ...read more.

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