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

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Introduction

Discuss the way that Pips treatment by adults during his childhood affects his adult life "Great Expectations" is set in early Victorian England and was written by Charles Dickens in 1860. It is written as a first-person narrative with Pip as an older man telling his life's story. I will be looking at how his extremely strict upbringing affected how he behaved in later life. The title "Great Expectations" shows an indication of the change in Pips fortunes throughout the story; from a poor family living in the country with a trade of being a blacksmith, to living a luxurious life as a Gentleman in London. The period of the novel was a time of change as England was expanding worldwide and becoming a wealthy world power. The economy was changing from mainly agricultural to industrial. It was a time when there was a very wide gap between the rich and the poor as the rich enjoyed great privileges and the poor led a life near to slavery. The novel provides an insight into both country life and city life where the only advantages that the poor have in the countryside is a clean environment. ...read more.

Middle

However, as a gesture to show that he is there for Pip, Joe puts gravy on his dinner to try and comfort him and although this is only very small it means a lot to Pip. He says, "...he always aided and comforted me when he could, in some way of his own, and he always did so at dinner-time by giving me gravy...". To prove this, Pip repeats the phrase "Joe gave me some more gravy" twice during the Christmas meal on a single line whilst Pip's relatives and sister are being spiteful towards him. For example Mr. Wopsle says, "The gluttony of Swine is put before us, as an example to the young." But Joe's actions indicate that he is trying to sympathise with Pip and near to the end of the dinner Pip says, "Joe offered me more gravy, which I was afraid to take" because Mr. Pumblechook is being so severe with him and Pip is rather intimidated by them. Pip is also treated very badly when he meets Miss Havisham on a visit to "play" at Satis House. ...read more.

Conclusion

Joe's actions show how unselfish he is which is the opposite to Miss Havisham and indicates that he is a genuine, true friend to Pip which Pip appreciates. Miss Havisham has a strong impact on Pip's adult life too because she leads him to believe that she is the one who is providing him with an income for his new life in London. Her attitude towards Pip is based on her hatred of men as a result of being jilted on her wedding day. Pip even calls her "the fairy godmother who has changed me" as he assumes that all his good fortune is as a result of Miss Havisham's generosity. It is only when it is too late however, that Miss Havisham realises what she has done to Pip and how cruel she has been to him. She regrets taking out her anger of men towards Pip and using Estella to break his heart. In conclusion, there are many characters within the novel who have an impact on Pip's journey to adulthood and the story illustrates how both good and bad influences and experiences affected the person that Pip became. ...read more.

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