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Great Expectations Essay -

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Introduction

"Great Expectations by Charles Dickens charts Pip's progress from innocent child to snob to true gentleman" With close reference to the text consider how Dickens Presents this character transformation to the reader. Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens first serialised in All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. The action of the story takes place from Christmas Eve, 1812, when the protagonist is about seven years old, to the winter of 1840. Great Expectations is written in a semi-autobiographical style, and is the story of the orphan Pip, tracing his life from his early days of childhood until adulthood. The story can also be considered semi-autobiographical of Dickens, like much of his work, drawing on his experiences of life, therefore the main theme of this novel is associated with the Victorian era; being a gentleman, crime, punishment, wealth and education. Dickens was a social observer and would therefore base his novels on his concerns for the social laws. Great Expectations was an example of this as the narrative is based on Pip, the main character, and how his life changes. He comes into possession of a lot of money from an unknown benefactor, breaking the wall of social mobility and becomes a Gentleman. The whole novel focuses on Pip looking back on his life, Furthermore most of the events experienced by Pip could also be Dickens' past experiences as Dickens' father was sent in to debtor's prison so Dickens received no privileges and did a number of jobs in order to support himself. This is why Great Expectations is Charles Dickens most semi-autobiographical piece of writing. The aim of the essay is to describe how Charles Dickens presentation of, the protagonist of the novel, Pip as a young boy contrasts to Pip as an Adult. ...read more.

Middle

This is where Pip first encounters and interacts with Estella. He has a deep love for Estella as soon as he lays his eyes on her but she criticizes him because of his social class and looks at him as inferior. This upsets Pip greatly as he starts crying and becomes angry of the social class he was born in to. This could be looked at as a reference of Charles Dickens' own experience because he also didn't like social classes. The second key chapter of the novel for close analysis is Chapter 27. I'm going to focus on when Joe visits Pip in London. Pip was visited by Joe for the first time after his move to London in chapter 27. Biddy wrote Pip a letter saying "I write this by the request of Mr Gargery, to let you know that he is going to London..... To be allowed to see you". This shows that Joe would like to meet Pip. "I received this letter by post......Not with Pleasure". Pip's reaction to reading the letter and hearing the news that Joe is coming to meet him is very fascinating as Charles Dickens uses this dialogue to notify the readers that Pip has turned into a snob. Clearly he isn't very pleased and is not looking forward to it. This is snobbish behaviour and for the first time we witness Pip as a snob. This is probably due to class issues. "If I could have kept him away by paying money, I certainly would have done". This quote indicates that Pip is very financially minded so much so that he has been blinded from the love of those who actually care for him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though Pip has been afraid of the convict and at the beginning showed signs of arrogance, slowly matured and started to show love for this 'father-like' figure Magwitch is to Pip. From all 3 stages of the novel it is clear when pip is the innocent child, the snob or the gentleman because of the way Charles Dickens portrays them. In conclusion, therefore the reason of writing this novel was to prove the fact that being a gentleman was not only attributed to having wealth but rather having good qualities. Also that being given wealth does not make you a gentlemen, rather it will be more respectable if the money was earned by yourself; emphasising the fact of becoming a 'self-made man'. He represented Pip as an example of a gentleman with snobbish behaviour in the middle section of the novel and was portrayed as a gentleman of good nature at the end of the narrative. The fairy tale motif allows the writer to distribute rewards and punishments. Joe was an example of what a true gentleman should be like throughout the novel with his good personality and character even though he did not have wealth and was illiterate. Also the reappearance of the convict in Pip's life acts as a major turning point and forces Pip to return to his youthful compassionate ways because the arrival of Magwtich maybe brings loads of memories to Pip and he realises he cant run away from his past, he will always be the same Pip. Dickens clearly achieved his point in this novel by making people realise that social class is a horrible thing and wealth and fancy clothes only makes u worse, it's the personality and kindness that makes you a gentleman. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jawad Ali 11B Mrs. Dare ...read more.

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