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Great Expectations - Why was Pip's desire to be a gentleman bound up with winning the love of Estella?

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Why was Pip's desire to be a gentleman bound up with winning the love of Estella? The definition of a gentleman is as follows: "A gentleman is a man regarded as having qualities of refinement associated with a good family, a man who is cultured, courteous and well educated." If you look at the qualities necessarily needed to become a gentleman, Pip does not appear to have any of these. One of the reasons is that he was an orphan. Not being part of a proper family cannot possibly come under the "good family" category in the sense required, this being a rich and upper class family. He also is not well educated because of his background and he lives with a poor family and therefore cannot afford to be sent to private education. The book also is written with Charles Dickens' personal view on life and he puts in some of his own experiences and ties them in with the plot. For instance an example of this is when in the scenes with violence involved we can see what his life was like as a young boy. When Dickens was about 12 years of age his father was imprisoned for debt and he was taken away from school to work in a rat infested blacking warehouse. ...read more.


At the beginning of the book Pip is living with a poor family with his sister, Mrs Gargery, and her husband, Joe. As he gradually becomes older he believes he has what It takes to become a gentleman in the city. This is because of two reasons. Firstly to actually make something of his life and secondly to win the heart of an apprentice of Miss Havisham, Estella. During his meetings with Miss Havisham at Satis house (the place of her residence) he becomes increasingly fond of this Estella in a way in which can be related to dickens because he didn't stand a chance of love with the love of his life. The first time that Pip ever sets eyes on Estella is when he goes to Miss Havisham's by her request with the help of Pumblechook as the person who escorts him there. When Pumblechook leaves them to walk alone to visit Miss Havisham, they begin to talk about the various names in which the run down house possesses. This is where Pips begins to realise how much he likes Estella even though she is treating him as quite literally a "boy": "though she called me boy often and with the carelessness that was far from complimentary, she was about my own age. ...read more.


Because of his visits to Miss Havisham's he becomes increasingly interested in becoming a gentleman and a man of class as he realised that is what Estella would seek in a man she would ever seek man to spend her life with. If you look at the definition of a gentleman, this is what Pip believes to be what she wants and is a concrete reason as to why he desires the love of Estella by means of becoming a gentleman. In conclusion to this essay I believe that there is only one reason as to why Pips desire to be a gentleman is bound up with winning the love of Estella. This is that Pip believes that there is only one possibility in which he is to obtain the love of Estella and that is to become exactly what he would not expect to be and completely change his current lifestyle, and become a gentleman. He uses his visits to Miss Havisham's as a chance to see Estella for as long as a can and also to try and get the financial support of Miss Havisham to help him on his way into the city to become a gentleman and therefore become what Estella wants in her life, a gentleman, and ultimately in Pips ideal life, win her love and affection and her feeling the same way back. Words: 1301 Matthew Beardall 11R ...read more.

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