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Discuss the ways in which Dickens comments on Class and Education in Chapter Seven of Great Expectations. You must also make wider reference to the novel as a whole.

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Introduction

Discuss the ways in which Dickens comments on Class and Education in Chapter Seven of Great Expectations. You must also make wider reference to the novel as a whole. Great Expectations tells the story of Pip's quest of his great expectations and how they were helped by his educational options. Pip is pretty similar too Dickens. He comes across a great deal of frustration with class and education; this is what I will be covering in this essay. Pip's first barrier is his sister, Mrs. Joe, who denominates Pips home, even though she is a woman. She represents the fears and reluctance that the upper class holds against education of the lower class. Throughout the novel, she is referred to as Mrs. Joe or Mrs. Joe Gargery, while her partner is only known as Joe, maybe symbolising Joe's simplicity. This confirms her dominant position in the household. She makes all the rules and enforces them, often in strict and mean manner. ...read more.

Middle

The way the characters speak tells us a lot about the role they have in the novel, for example, Mrs Joe always speaks with the correct grammar and with longer words, Joe on the other hand, cannot read or write, and when speaking he does not pronounce his words well, he also clearly does not have a wide vocabulary...'Why, here's a J," said Joe, "and a O equal to anythink! Here's a J and a O, Pip, and a J-O, Joe'. Later on in the chapter Pip and Joe sit next to the fire, Pip admiring him and teaching him the alphabet. Dickens contrasts this humble setting when at the end of the chapter Mrs. Joe bursts with a lot of noise and rather rude announcement. She introduces the first of Pip's "great expectations" in the form of the job given to Pip "to play" for Miss Havisham "...this boy's fortune may be made by his going to Miss Havisham's." ...read more.

Conclusion

The misty marshes near Pip's childhood home in Kent, one of the most suggestive of all the settings, are used several times to represent danger and uncertainty. As a child, Pip brings Magwitch a file and food in these mists; later, he is kidnapped by Orlick and nearly murdered in them. Whenever Pip goes into the mists, something dangerous is likely to happen. Significantly, Pip must go through the mists when he travels to London shortly after receiving his fortune, alerting the reader that there is danger to come. To conclude, Dickens comments about education and class throughout the novel. He talks about how the working class do not want to be taken over by the lower class; therefore they cannot have high levels of education. Dickens sympathises with the lower class and how hard it is, but how they are often better people who have more enjoyable lives. Miss Havisham has a sad lonely life, and she is rich and highly educated, then you look at Joe and he is in the lower class and very content with his life. ...read more.

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