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'Great Expectations' is a griping search for identity

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One of Dickens' most popular novels 'Great Expectations' is a griping search for identity- the narrator's self-identity Pip has been born into a difficult world in the early years of the 19th Century. Philip Pirrip is the narrator of 'Great Expectations'. In the book he is known as Pip. He called himself Pip because as a young child his infant tongue could only get across to Pip. I the first few chapters of the book he is described as a timid, sensitive and guilt-ridden person. His parents had died earlier, probably due to poverty. Pip is living with his sister, who intimidates him in every form. We realise his intimidation when he arrives late from the graveyard, "I twisted the only button on my waistcoat round and round, and looked in great depress at the fire. Tickler was a wax-ended piece of cane, worn smooth by collision with my tickled frame" I see a parallel between Dickens and Pip. Dickens's lived in an over-crowded place when he was young. His parents had no intentions of sending him to school. He spent his days running errands and doing chores around the house also his younger sister died of smallpox just like, Pip's brothers and sisters. ...read more.


Pip was in two minds, about what Magwitch would think of him, "Would he believe I was in both imp and hound in treacherous earnest, and had betrayed him" Also at the third meeting Magwitch protected Pip by not acknowledging him. He owned up to the theft that Pip had done for him and we see the convict clearing Pip of all the blame and probably thanking him for all his assistance. Pip has seen Magwitch before and he felt he should have told Joe, but if he had told Joe he feared he may have to go to 'The Hulks' or he felt that he will lose the trust and faith that Joe had in him. The 'prison system' in the 19th century was very brutal because of overcrowded cells. A human cargo was sent to Australia where they were severely punished and hard labour was enforced. Overall there are two types of effects on Pip from the meetings with Magwitch. The first is the short-term effect from Magwitch, which involves Pip being frightened, and helplessness, "I pleaded in terror" The second effect is the long term. This involves his first memory of childhood, " " Pip's first impression of 'Satis House' was dark, dismal and had many ...read more.


feel insulted, " I was so humiliated, hurt, spurned, affined, angry, sorry-I can not hit upon the right name for the smart" After his visit, Pip experiences changes in his view, life and family. He does not like to be poor. Pip felt, Estella looked down on him because he was poor and not a gentleman. Pip was asked to play, but he didn't know how to 'play'. Estella lived in a society where her class did not have to work, and we read that Pip wanted to leave when he was told to 'play' because he did not understand the word 'play'. In chapter 9, when Pip returns home his shame will not allow him to tell the truth to his sister and Pumblechook so he is exaggerates. We see that Pip is telling Joe about his real feelings about his trip to 'Satis House'. Unlike the theft, which he kept secret, he eventually confides to Joe because he knows Joe will keep an open mind and he is the only one person he can speak to without being punished and having a guilty conscience. What he is confiding to Joe is his shame as a working-class person and how he must change in order to win Estella. ...read more.

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