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Great Expectations

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DISCUSS HOW THE THEME OF CLASS IS DEVELOPED THROUGH PIP'S VISIT TO SATIS HOUSE 'Great Expectations' is a novel written by Charles Dickens. The novel was written in the early 1860's. The genre of 'Great Expectation' is bildungsroman. This shows a story of an individual's growth and development within the context of social order. In 'Great Expectations' we see Pip the protagonist transform from a poor working class boy to a snobbish wealthy gentleman and from his behaviour as a gentleman he realises his mistakes and matures into the Pip who narrates the novel. This novel explores social class, which Dickens was particularly interested in. We notice this because Dickens puts his own opinions about social class into the book. For Example, the divisions in the social hierarchy between the rich and the poor. In Victorian times, class played a major role. It affected the way were treated and there was no sense of equality, this is why Dickens puts his own views in. It could be said that 'Great Expectations' reflects certain stages of Dickens' own life. His father was sent to prison and this may explain the character Magwich the convict. Manipulate Most novels are written to entertain, but 'Great Expectations' is different. 'Great Expectations' it is there to entertain but it also gives important messages about class. Dickens had strong views about the separation of the classes. He knew the differences between the upper class and the working class and he hated it. He wanted equality in society. The poor were treated unfairly in Victorian society and by using this book he tried to change how the working class were seen. He tried putting the working class in the limelight. He made it out as if the upper class were decaying and they did not deserve the luxury they were living in. He believed the good people deserved the luxury (in his case the good people were the working class citizens). This is why Dickens is biased in this novel. ...read more.


In this situation the working class boy Pip is taking all the abuse given to him by Estella and he is despite this Pip is still treating Estella and Miss Havisham in a respectful manner. Here, Dickens is showing us how discourteous the upper class people are and how respectful the working class are. When Pip enters Satis House the first person he meets is Estella, a young girl who is about the same age as Pip. As soon as Pip sees Estella, he falls in love with her. From here we can see the separation between the two classes. Estella does not treat Pip with respect but as Pip says a dog. "She gave me bread and meat, without looking at me, as insolently as if I were a dog in disgrace." This shows us that Estella treats really badly just because of his status in society. We know that Estella treats Pip this badly because of him being lower class because. Estella treats Miss Havisham who is obviously upper class with great deference but when Estella is in Pips presence she treats him with great disgust. Also, instead of calling Pip, 'Pip' Estella chooses to call him 'Boy' which shows she is treating him with disrespect due to him being a working class citizen. Estella says many things which really hurt Pips feelings and changes his perspective of life. "And what coarse hands he has. And what thick boots!" Estella points out the things which show the inferiority of the working class. Estella also chooses to call him a "common laboring-boy!" Pip takes in all the abuse he is receiving from Estella but due to his admiration of Estella Pip chooses to stay silent. After the cruelty he has received from Estella Pip begins to cry in the courtyard and he now realises who he is and where he has come from. ...read more.


Dickens shows off a lot in his work, using his language to describe and portray a lot of information in one go. This makes the story more interesting to read. Dickens also uses repetition to emphasise a certain thing or feeling. He also uses alliteration, onomatopoeia and repetition he uses these to make a certain atmosphere which is suitable for the events which are taking place. He may use these devices to make an isolated and deserted mood. At the start of the sentences there is often equilibrium and then a 'but' is used. The first part is what we expect to see and when the 'but' is used it shows what it really is. We expect it to be one thing but it is actually another thing. In this novel, Dickens is trying to put through a few messages to the readers. He assessed the Victorian Classes and uses his evaluations to come to a final message. Dickens sympathised for the lower classes and he knew how they were being treated. For example, when we think of the upper class people, like Miss Havisham. We blasphemy automatically have images thinking about how great she would be .But Miss Havisham is not like how we would picture her to be. She may have a big mansion but the way she is living is disgusting and the way she is behaving is not at all like the upper class people. Dickens is telling us that classes are not how people expect them to be. Dickens tells us that, we should not jump to conclusions and automatically think that the working class are poor and weak people and that the upper class are rich strong people. We should judge one on his personality not on his place is social hierarchy. Dickens wanted the working class to be treated exactly the same as the upper class. He is showing us that there is no difference between the rich and the poor. He wished that there was more equality between the classes, which there wasn't. Rizwan Chaudhry 10R ...read more.

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