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Great Expectations - review

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Introduction

Great Expectations Coursework Charles Dickens' book 'Great Expectations' is a very well known novel about a boy called Pip, who goes on a journey to discover his 'Great Expectations'. On this journey to become a gentleman he finds out many things about himself, and by the end of the novel realises exactly what his real identity is. The storyline is very heavily based on Dickens' beliefs at time he was writing and this clearly is reflected when you read the novel. Dickens was very worried about society in Britain in the 1800's and he could not understand why every aspect of status and identity revolved around money. This connects to the book as Pip, after his visit to Satis House, believes that he has been brought up badly and that money is the only resource to give you any sort of 'real' identity. 'I was humiliated, hurt, spurned, offended, angry and sorry.' Pip feels inadequate in the company of Miss Havisham, the owner of Satis House, and Estella, Miss Havisham's foster daughter and perhaps this is Dickens felt when his father was sent to prison for being in debt and Dickens was sent to the blacking factory so he could provide money for the rest of his family. ...read more.

Middle

Pip is even more affected by the way Estella insults him and makes him feel inadequate. 'What coarse hands he has! And what thick boots!' are some of Estella attempts to hurt Pip. Pip is damaged so much by these words that he begins to question, Joe Gargery, Pip's brother-in- law who has brought him up in life, about the way in which Joe and his wife, Pip's sister have taught him to live. Now Pip becomes even more determined and enthusiastic about becoming a gentleman. As Pip continues on his journey he travels to London to meet Mr Jaggers, a powerful, well known lawyer who has an office in the capital. This stage in Pip's journey to become a gentleman represents Pip's endeavour to establish an identity for himself among the people of importance that could give him a decent status, but as soon as he enters London it is not how he thought it would be, and what he sees seems quite the opposite. Pip immediately feels contaminated by his surroundings, just like at Satis House. 'I might have had some faint doubts whether it was not rather ugly, crooked, narrow and dirty' which suggests how opposite London was in comparison to his original views on the city before he went there. ...read more.

Conclusion

He admires the way Wemmick and his Father might not live in a palace, but they are happy just being with each other and that is all that they need. As Pip is that affected he is brought round to thinking money is not what makes you happy, it is the people around you, and because of his change he decides that he should go back to the marshland to reunite with Joe and Biddy, his brother-in-law and his new wife, as Pip's sister was killed earlier in the novel. Eventually Pip runs out of money and decides to go back to his roots in the marshes to live with Joe and Biddy, and to prove how he has changed from the person he thought he could be, to the man who takes people as his values and has forgotten the influence of money on his own life. In short he has finally realised the importance of his family and friends, and how money cannot make life any better, or replace your friends. This is close to Dickens' way of thinking, after he had to go through the dirt and contamination of the blacking factory, and the shame of being looked down on by the rich people who he and his family were once among. Thomas Buckley ...read more.

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