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Explore the character of Pip in Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" and how he changes during the course of the novel.

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Introduction

Explore the character of Pip in Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" and how he changes during the course of the novel. The book "Great Expectations" was written in the 1860's by the world famous author Charles Dickens. During the 1860's the Victorians were ruling England. The Victorian period was grim, dismal and extremely dirty. Victorian England was not the time for even the slightest bit of social mobility, if you were born a trader you'd die a trader. The book has a very misleading title; will Pip's expectations be great? Great Expectations was designed for family entertainment during the late 20th century. Dickens' had this in mind throughout the writing of his novel. Dickens' so cleverly puts so many different stories into this one novel. A story of a boy who goes from rags to riches whilst being a love story at the same time. There is both mystery and horror throughout the book "Great Expectations". Pip is an orphan living at Home with Joe and Mrs. Joe. Pip is a very honest child who respects all of his elders. Mrs. Joe is a vindictive character who victimises little Pip and Joe is a quiet hard-working blacksmith. Pip's only hope is Joe, Pip and Joe get on intensely well together and have an excellent relationship. ...read more.

Middle

It is an emotional departure for all involved. There are tears in Pip's eyes and regret but still, he decided to go. The relationship Pip had with Joe has now disintegrated. Pip cannot even look Joe in the eye when he leaves for London. All he can do is say "Good-bye, O my dear, dear friend", this shows at least Pip recognises some values of Joe. Pip has now forgot about his family back home. He is now concentrating on his new 'gentleman' style life in London. Pip's first impressions of London are not living up to his 'great expectations'. The only thing Pip can see in front of him is a noisy, busy, dirty and dismal city. There is pigs dripping with blood and men ready to be hung on the streets. In London Pip stays with Herbert Pocket whom he met at Miss Havisham's when he was a young boy. Herbert teaches Pip manners and how to live an upper class 'gentleman' style life. After Pip has been staying in London for a while he receives a very formal letter from Biddy asking if Joe can visit "agreeable to be allowed to see you". Pip didn't really wish to see Joe, but he had no choice as he was "bound", owing him a debt of gratitude. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pip returns home to give Biddy a marriage proposal but he finds Joe getting married to her, so as a gentleman he walks away and doesn't say a word. Pip, Biddy and Joe are now having relationships similar to those back in the early Pips childhood. Pip now has one last thing to sort out which is a Estella. Pip meets Estella again when he comes back 11 years later from working abroad. By this time Pip has go over Estella and now longer wishes to marry her "has all gone by". Dickens choices to end the novel with "The evening mists were rising now, and is all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw the shadow of no parting from her". There was no shadow because Pip has become a gentleman and is able to cope without Estella. The ending of this novel written by Dickens is very ambiguous. I think Dickens did this to prove a point about Pip. Pip really didn't deserve a happy ending because he had done wrong for too many years. Although even if Pip did end with Estella they still might not have been happy together. This would have been unrealistic. Dickens created the character Pip in his novel for two reasons. The first being that dreams sadly cannot always come true. The second reason being that money is not the key to happiness. By Paul Allen 10c ...read more.

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