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Great Expectations - Is Pip a gentleman? - How successful is he as a gentleman?

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Introduction

Great Expectations Is Pip a gentleman? How successful is he as a gentleman? "Great Expectations", written by Charles Dickens and set in mid-late Victorian era; is about a boy named Philip Pirrip, better known as Pip and his "great expectations". As a child he lived with his sister and brother in-law Joe. Luck brings him to the aid of a convict, and to the house of a wealthy society lady. After many encounters with her in "Satis house", he seeks a life as a gentleman. A Victorian society gentleman is a man of high social status, and is expected to be wealthy, well educated, come from a wealthy background, and have enough money not to work. This is all Pip's perception of what the precepts of being a gentleman are. Drummle sets a good example of this for him; he was born into wealth, well educated and doesn't work for a living. Although Drummle has these qualities, he embraces an unpleasant personality; he is described, by Pip, as "sulky", "Heavy in figure, movement and comprehension", "sluggish", "idle, proud, niggardly, reserved, and suspicious, and has a "large awkward tongue"." Bentley Drummle doesn't seem very pleasant to Pip, the only word Pip uses, that maybe a positive quality, is "proud", it maybe good, but Drummle may only be proud of his wealth and social status. Drummle is very wealthy, but yet he is very particular with it, "I wouldn't lend one of you a sixpence. ...read more.

Middle

Pip meets a lawyer called Mr. Jaggers, who tells him of an unknown benefactor to Pip. Pip's dreams of being a gentleman had finally come true. When he goes to London he meets people like Drummle; influencing him all along; Pip copies Drummle's example even though he dislikes him. He is educated on how to be a gentleman, he isn't taught to be snobbish and arrogant, that seems to come naturally without thinking. Even before Pip knew of his benefactor, he thought he was better than Joe and Biddy, because of his relationship with Miss Havisham and Estella. "If I were to remove Joe into a higher sphere" he is saying that Joe is in a lower sphere to him, he just naturally thinks that he is better than Joe, without thinking. Joe tries hard not to disappoint Pip when he meets him in London; firstly by calling him "sir" and speaking in a posh fashion, and trying to use more impressive words such as "lucid exposition", earlier in the book he wouldn't try to be so complicated. Joe isn't afraid to admit his wrongs or to say how he feels "If there has been any fault at all to-day, it's mine." Although he hasn't done anything wrong, he still takes whatever blame. Joe tells Pip they shouldn't be together "You and me is not two figures to be together in London"; he can say that Pip is in a higher class than him, he has the ability to say that, if it were Pip he would think it but not say it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Joe and Biddy have always showed respect for Pip, he now shows respect for them. Pip decides to work with Herbert in Cairo " I work pretty hard for a sufficient living, and therefore - Yes, I do well!" Pip has learned to work hard and is content of his living. He says he works hard for a sufficient living and because of that he is doing well; from this you can see Pip has changed a lot, he doesn't have high expectations for standards anymore, he feels that his life is good enough. Pip as the narrator has learnt new things, and understands life "our worst weaknesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise." So to not look bad in front of others you hide things, Pip realises what he has done or thought wrong in the past. In the end Pip is a moral gentleman, he appreciates other people and their moral. Pip isn't afraid to admit things "it is a miserable thing to feel ashamed of home"; throughout the book he has demonstrated this, the way he describes and explains is more against his image than for it. Pip never was a society gentleman, he lacked a wealthy background, and he was trying to be something he isn't. Pip has reached the expectations of a moral gentleman; he is respected and respectful, hard working, not afraid to admit his wrongs, and he has friend. Jaja Yue 10c4 Tuesday 11th June 2002 English ...read more.

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