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"Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens is a "Bildungsroman".

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Importance of a main character to the novel "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens is a "Bildungsroman", a term that denotes a novel that presents the growth and development - within the context of a defined social order - of a single character, Philip Pirrip, better known as Pip. As the focus of the bildungsroman, Pip is by far the most important character in "Great Expectations": he is both the protagonist, whose actions make up the main plot of the novel, and the narrator, whose thoughts and attitudes shape the reader's perception of the story. As a character, Pip's two most important traits are his immature, romantic idealism and his naturally good conscience. ...read more.


"I wished Joe had been more genteelly brought up, and then I should have been so too." When Pip becomes a gentleman, for example, he immediately begins to act as he thinks a gentleman is supposed to act, which leads him to treat Joe and Biddy snobbishly and coldly. On the other hand, Pip is at heart a very generous and sympathetic young man, a fact that can be witnessed in his numerous acts of kindness throughout the book, for example - helping Magwitch and secretly buying Herbert's way into business - and his essential love for all those who love him. ...read more.


hurt the people who care about him most, for example when Pip refuses to allow Joe to accompany him before he leaves for London "I had told Joe that I wished to walk away all alone." Once he has learned these lessons, Pip matures into the man who narrates the novel, completing the bildungsroman. In conclusion, the character of Pip has a powerful conscience, and during the novel he deeply wants to improve himself, both morally and socially. He learns many significant lessons in his travels such as society being full of cruelty and greed, and that meaningful relationships depend on humility and compassion. The focus on Pip's actions, emotions and lessons learnt enhances the importance of his character to the novel. ...read more.

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