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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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Introduction

Great Expectations - English Coursework Dipesh Bharania 11R Why was Pip's desire to be a gentleman bound up with winning the love of Estella? In the book Great Expectations Pip has a great desire to become a gentleman. During the times during which the book was set, in the 1800's, a gentleman was someone who was rich, well-spoken and had a good number of contacts in important places. They were the envy of the poor, because the gentlemen looked down upon them, believing themselves to be better. In the book I believe that Charles Dickens put this want of Pip's to become a gentleman because it was not dissimilar to his own life. Charles Dickens was moved to Camden Town, London from Chatham at the age of ten and his father was imprisoned on the charge of debt. This would have made Dickens feel like an outcast from a young age because he was poor. He would have looked up to gentlemen, wishing he was one, just as Pip does in his early years. At the age of 12 Dickens was removed from school to work at a boot-blacking factory to help support the family. ...read more.

Middle

Havisham's room first and ask Estella to go in. Estella replies: "Don't be ridiculous boy; I am not going in." Estella scorns him again when she comes in to play with him, by the order of Miss. Havisham: "He is a common labouring - boy!" While they are playing cards also she still mocks him of his inferiority to her: "'He calls the knaves, Jacks, this boy!' said Estella with disdain." Estella then ridicules him of his appearance something which Pip was not ashamed of before: "What coarse hands he has. And what thick boots". Pip then finds himself looking at his hands and boots, "I had never thought of being ashamed of my hands before; but I began to consider them a very indifferent pair." This shows that Estella has got to him, "Her contempt was so strong, that it became infectious, and I caught it." He has started to look at himself in a different light after the scorn that Estella has thrust upon him. Yet even though she derides him for what he is he says: "I am not sure that I shouldn't like to see her again". ...read more.

Conclusion

Estella saw these tears and Pip saw that she saw them, and when she did see them she knew she was the source of the tears and she looked at him "with a quick delight in having been the cause of them." Throughout the chapter Estella has mocked and scorned Pip, and treated like a 'dog in disgrace'. Yet he is still overcome by his feelings for her. They are so strong that he fells he has to kick them out of him: "I got rid of my injured feelings for the time by kicking them into the brewery wall and twisting them out of my hair". He is forced to go through so much for Estella without her even knowing it, and yet he still wants to live up to her standards. This is the main reason why Pip so badly wants to be a gentleman so that he feels that he is reasonable for Estella. And that she will at least respect him in some way because they will be equal in stature. Pip's desire to be a gentleman is greatly to do with winning the love of Estella, because he believes that if he is a gentleman he will have more chance of winning her love. ...read more.

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