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"During the course of 'Great Expectations' Pip discovers what really matters in life. How far do you think this is so? In the course of your answer - Look closely at how Dickens presents the main characters especially Pip;

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Introduction

"During the course of 'Great Expectations' Pip discovers what really matters in life. How far do you think this is so? In the course of your answer: * Look closely at how Dickens presents the main characters especially Pip; * Write about the ways in which Dickens may be criticising aspects of Victorian society; * Support your views with detailed reference to the text. (2,000 - 2,500 words) During the novel we see Pip change from a 'small bundle of shivers' who is 'afraid of it all' into a proper 'gentleman'. He becomes a snob after he is corrupted by the very 'proud', 'pretty' and 'insulting' Estella and the 'corpse-like' Miss Havisham, but eventually he realises what really does matter in life. As an orphan Pip has had a very hard start in life. His sister, Mrs Joe Gargery and her husband, Joe, the blacksmith, bring him up. It is not a happy childhood. He is abused by his sister, who beats him with 'tickler', a cane. Mrs Joe's influence on Pip has not been a good one, but this doesn't matter as Joe is kind, 'good' and 'noble', and he treats Pip like an equal. This makes Pip feel loved, as Joe is a friend to him. ...read more.

Middle

the fork is reserved for that use'. Herbert is 'amiable and cheerful' and he is so considerate that he teaches Pip a lot about what is important in life. Pip learns to do selfless acts through his friendship with Herbert, like setting Herbert up in a job, and telling Estella she's worthier of a greater man than Drummle. Mr Jaggers is a strange man who shows Pip, by no intention of his own, just how important a home life is. Jaggers is an enigma, a code which Pip cannot understand. He has no home life, and he is always obsessed by his work. His partner in business, Wemmick acts similarly to Jaggers when they are at work, but he almost has a split personality, i.e. two different lives, 'the office is one thing and the castle another'. When Wemmick goes into the office he 'leaves the castle behind' and when he goes into the castle he 'leaves the office behind'. So Wemmick also shows Pip the importance of a home life, by being such a contrast to Jaggers. Dickens is criticising the judicial system through Jaggers and Wemmick (although only Wemmick when he's at work), by showing how corrupt it all is. If you know the right people, wear the right clothes, and look the right part, you are more likely to get away with it. ...read more.

Conclusion

only 'meant to be' his true benefactor, and that Magwitch need never know that the officer had taken the pocket-book, and that 'his hopes of enriching' Pip 'had perished'. By not telling Magwitch it shows that Pip has had some consideration of his feelings, even if he is lying to him. When Pip becomes in debt and ill, he awakens to find good, old 'noble' Joe looking after him. Joe teaches him that forgiveness is very important, and that you need to be able to forgive others, and love them deep down. Joe is a good example of a true gentleman as he is kind, loving, hopeful, forgiving, satisfied with little money, and happy with the things he's got, and the opportunities he's been given. My conclusions from this are that Pip does learn what really matters in life. Pip eventually learns to be a proper gentleman, as he has to work for his money, which gives him satisfaction. He learns forgiveness as he forgives Estella for being so horrible to him, and he is kind, loving and patient. He also has the outward appearance of a gentleman, but he is much more of a gentleman now because he is a gentleman inwardly. He learns the most important lessons in life: 'money can't buy everything' and 'the best things in life are free'! Katy Hambley 10W English Essay 1 ...read more.

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