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ENGLISH COURSEWORK GREAT EXPECTATIONS Great Expectations was a novel written by Charles Dickens during the Victorian era. It was a time when people were divided into classes based on wealth. Poor people were looked down upon by the rich people. People of the higher class thought they were superior to the poor. The main character of Great Expectation is Philip Pirrip, commonly known as 'Pips'. His name itself is a symbol. Pip means seed. Dickens specifically took this name because it symbolises the potential to grow into something bigger. "As I never saw my father or my mother", the parentless Pip is kind of childish since he thinks that "the shape of the letters on my father's grave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man". Dickens made him orphan so that he could be lost in his ways of life and then brought back to his sense. If Pip had parents, the readers might not have felt pity. The area were he lives; the marshes itself symbolises his bleak prospects. He was brought up by his "more than 20 year's old" sister "by hand" whom he dislikes a lot. He even thinks that his brother in law; Joe might have got trapped in the clutches of Mrs.Joe. On the other hand he likes and respects Joe a lot. ...read more.


Dickens shows the new rich Pip in a different situation. A situation when Magwitch returns back. Magwitch's kindness for Pip was shown when he said "Noble, Pip! And I have never forgot it". Magwitch still remembered the young boy who helped him a long time back. Pip on the other hand, acted like a snob. "Stay!" said I "Keep off! If you are grateful to me for what I did when I was a little child, I hope you have shown your gratitude by mending your ways of life". This shows that Pip doesn't like to share company with anyone below the higher class. He gave the hint to Magwitch again when he said, "You are wet, and you look weary. Will you drink something before you go?" Pip implies that Magwitch should just go with or without having a drink because he was feeling uncomfortable and impatient talking to Magwitch. Dickens implies that people from a humble family who gets money and get rich are better than people who are born rich. Pip felt even more uncomfortable when Magwitch was trying to tell Pip that he was his benefactor. "All the trust of my position came flashing on me; and its disappointments, dangers, disgraces, consequences of all kinds rushed in such a multitude that I was borne down by them and had a struggle for every breath I drew". ...read more.


This is when he thinks that, "the vanity of sorrow which had become a master mania, like the vanity of penitence, the vanity of remorse, the vanity of unworthiness, and other monstrous vanities that have been curses in this world?" Pip knows that her depression had grown so much that she created an insane world for the hatred of men. Great expectations is a novel that shows Pip's journey through life. It shows his development from a common labouring boy to a rich and powerful man. Dickens wrote this novel to make people realise that the poor people were more humble than the rich people. He wants everyone to know that the rich and powerful are not necessarily good people. This is shown through the characters; Miss Havisham and Magwitch. Miss Havisham was the unpleasant aristocratic character of the novel whereas Magwitch the convict was one of the kindest and the most admirable character in the novel. Dickens wrote this novel during the Victorian era. It was a time when people didn't care about the poor. Dickens is trying to change people's attitude towards social classes. He made Pip as an example of the rich people in society. Pip used to be a kind boy, who respected everyone. But when his great expectations came, his attitude changed. He thought he was superior to everyone. He thought that people less wealthy than his were not worthy. The novel shows how his good nature changes into snobbery, only to return when circumstances force him to realise where his fortune has come from. ...read more.

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