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Great expectations may be read as a bildungsroman how does the first volume of Great Expectations chart Pip's progress from childhood to young adulthood?

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Introduction

GREAT EXPECTATIONS MAY BE READ AS A BILDUNGSROMAN HOW DOES THE FIRST VOLUME OF GREAT EXPECTATIONS CHART PIP'S PROGRESS FROM CHILDHOOD TO YOUNG ADULTHOOD? BY DHARMESH BHUDIA Great expectations maybe considered as being a bildungsroman as it charts the development of the main character (Pip) from childhood to adulthood. Traditionally a bildungsroman contains the progress of one character as he or she deals with death, love, social status and other life effecting factors. In this way "Great expectations" fits the bildungsroman genre. In some ways Great expectations does not fit the traditional bildungsroman as the person is telling the story as an adult reflecting on his life from childhood. Primarily bildungsromans are narrated by a protagonist and no one else. This essay will deliberate how the novel fits into the bildungsroman genre and how the novel charts Pip's progress from childhood to adulthood. The opening of the novel confirms that the novel fits bildungsroman genre as we are immediately introduced to the main character, Pip and he is the one who is telling the story. "I called myself Pip." It is "Old Pip" telling the story as "young Pip" as he remembers it. "Old Pip" is the omnipotent narrator and "Young Pip" is the protagonist and the first narrator. ...read more.

Middle

He thinks that he will be severely punished by god as well. This also implies he was taught that if he stole or lied he would go to prison. We learn that Pip has received a poor education even though he goes to school in the evening. His teacher is not very bright and committed. "She was a ridiculous old woman of limited means and unlimited infirmity." This portrays the historical context of the novel. We learn that people of lower class in Victorian times didn't receive an education. The ones who did, obtained a poor one. Pip thinks his education is a joke and doesn't have much use as he is going to become Joe's apprentice when he grows older. Although Pip wants to become something of himself he thinks he won't get anywhere in life. Even though Pip is much younger than Joe he is more educated than Joe. This is quite a surprise and it also shocks Pip. This makes Pip think that he can better himself. This also makes Pip think of himself as Joe's equal and he also feels sorry for Joe. "I always treated him as a larger species of child and no more than my equal." Pip is invited to play with Estella at Satis house. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though Pip puts Joe down, he still gives him support and encourages him. Pip feels alone and isolated at the end of chapter 18 because he thinks he can't associate with people he loves like Joe because he is of higher class than them. When Pip meets Mr Pumblechook he is friendly with him because he is now at the same class as him. Pip shows his real change because he starts talking down to people like Joe showing he is snobbish. Pip also wants Joe to be like him but he is also stating Joe is quite lower than him. Pip still doesn't have everything he still needs to achieve love from Estella. In the novel, Pip has developed from an innocent child to an established member of society. "Great Expectations" fits the bildungsroman genre as he adopts a social order to the extent that he becomes a part of it. It is very clear in charting Pip's change because of the clear language changes and his attitude. "Great Expectations" is not a traditional bildungsroman because the protagonist goes beyond growing up and tells his own story as an older omnipotent narrator. The novel fits and developed the genre in many ways. It is a love story as he is in love with Estella and a mystery ad he doesn't know what is going to happen. ...read more.

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