• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the development of Pip’s character in the opening chapters of Great Expectations. How is he affected by his initial encounters with Magwitch, Miss Havisham and Estella?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore the development of Pip's character in the opening chapters of Great Expectations. How is he affected by his initial encounters with Magwitch, Miss Havisham and Estella? At the beginning of chapter one Pip is presented to the reader by Charles Dickens as an innocent young boy: "My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name being Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer than Pip". This opening reflects on Pip's intelligence and also introduces the main character and narrator. Dickens makes very good use of the opening paragraph by gaining support for Pip. Dickens would have done this to intrigue the reader and entice them into reading onwards; also originally Great Expectations came out in instalments, printed in a newspaper, so by presenting Pip as an innocent young boy, who has nothing going for him, the reader would be instantly intrigued by what is going to happen to him. To gain further support Pip is also an orphan - "I never saw my father or mother". From the opening line of the story you become deeply involved with Pip's life as a child; by the end of the first paragraph the reader has already been told: * Why he is called Pip * His family name is Pirrip * He lives with his sister (Mrs. Joe Gargery) * That he is an orphan. ...read more.

Middle

Also because of where Pip lived, in an area away from large towns or cities, this meant that Pip would have lived quite a sheltered life with only a few people as friends. One of his closest friends is Joe, but is this because he is the only adult he knows and likes? This might explain why Pip is so friendly with Magwitch. Furthermore Pip has sympathy with Magwitch because he is presented to him as a poor desperate man. This reality consequently scares Pip into helping Magwitch, along with Magwitch's idle threats ("keep still, you little devil or I'll cut your throat"), and Pip agrees to get his some food (whittles) and a file. At one point in Great Expectations Pip refers to Magwitch as "my friend". This shows that Pip likes Magwitch, which is very strange considering he is an apparently dangerous convict who threatened Pip. But this also shows that Pip has been so isolated he wants to make a new friendship, even with Magwitch! In chapter eight Pip is taken to Satis House (Miss Havisham's house) by Uncle Pumblechook. The visit is very important to Mrs. Joe because she believes that she could possibly get some of Miss Havisham's wealth if Pip impresses her. It is also a very significant visit for Pip and it is his first experience of the upper class. ...read more.

Conclusion

From these actions by Estella, Pip starts to reject how he has been brought up and who has brought him up. His upbringing, which has taught him to know his place, prevents him from questioning Estella's upbringing. At the end of chapter nine Pip is left thinking about the differences between life at home and at Satis House. The end of chapter nine can't leave you feeling anything but intrigued by what Pip will do next. Will he reject Joe and Mrs. Joe through sheer embarrassment? Dickens again would have deliberately left this as a cliff-hanger so people would buy the next instalment. When Estella let Pip kiss her (at the end of chapter eleven), Pip is again left thinking about his upbringing and still feels ashamed that Estella looks down on him because he is of a lower class. Pip develops throughout the opening of Great Expectations, from the beginning where he is presented as a young innocent child, to developing into a child who wants to do well and become a gentleman. Also Pip starts to become more independent. Pip's experience with Magwitch is significant as being his first experience of guilt, but also Magwitch is a friend to Pip and this is an important thread throughout the book. However the most significant part of the opening is the visit to Miss Havisham's house and the first experience of the upper class, which makes him want to reject his upbringing. Pip grows up/develops quickly in the opening, but will he actually reject his upbringing? That is the question that you want to know. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Great Expectations- Miss Havisham

    age and her appearance overall is described as more haggard and withered than ever. She was staring at the 'ashy fire...lost in contemplation', in this image Dickens appears to play on the myth of the phoenix as the 'ashy fire' implies that Miss Havisham, like the phoenix rising form the

  2. How Is Miss Havisham Presented In Chapter Eight And Chapter Eleven?

    Another example of the theme of the living-dead is when Dickens describes her appearance. He does this through the use of a metaphor. He describes Miss Havisham as, "waxwork and skeleton". This again shows to the reader that Pip feels intimidated by her and her presence and it also creates atmosphere and tension.

  1. How does Dickens present the character of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations?

    However this seems too unlikely so Pip doesn't take much notice. What he doesn't know however is that that unlikely whisper is nothing more than the beginning of the misery of his life.

  2. great expectations, opening paragraph question

    Joe Gargery sounds hard and abrupt and we never find out her real name. By taking on the name of her husband it makes her sound quite manly. Her husband is referred to as just Joe Gargery, not Mr. Joe Gargery.

  1. Is it possible to feel sympathy for the Miss Havisham and Estella characters in ...

    because of the way in which she is clearly feeling sorry for herself. Miss Havisham's house has not changed in many years; she still wears her wedding dress and is always in darkness. This shows us that she pities herself and has not changed her appearance or her house because

  2. Essay- Explore the characterisation, role and function of Estella and Miss Havisham in 'Great ...

    He told me that he would look about him for such an orphan child. One night he brought her here asleep, and I called her Estella." When Miss Havisham adopted Estella she wanted to save her from the suffering that she had endured, but as she grew older we can

  1. Explore the initial presentation of Dickens Magwitch and Miss Havisham in Great Expectations

    'Raw afternoon', adds effect whereby it suggests that the afternoon is cold and painful, and possibly foreshadowing the following events. The graveyard sets a Gothic and scary image using lexis such as, 'savage lair', which implies a sort of monster, or beast is waiting amongst the shadows.

  2. Two Chapters In Great Expectations Introduce The Character Of Magwitch. Compare The Two Chapters ...

    'Beginning to cry, was Pip' right as Pip began to cry Magwitch becomes part of the scene. Magwitch's entrance intrudes on Pip's respectful outing, thus being inappropriate. However, the fact that he was added to the scenario during such a moment builds a sense of negativity which characterizes him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work