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How do Pip’s Perceptions of People and Class Change Throughout the Novel?

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Introduction

How do Pip's Perceptions of People and Class Change Throughout the Novel? Class is a central theme throughout the novel. In the nineteenth century class divisions were very strict and class was not just about money but dress, speech, manners and behavior. Pip changes class from a country laborer to a city gentleman in the novel and realizes that to be a true gentleman you have to be a good person inside like Joe Gargery. Pip lived in a cottage in the marsh country of Kent with his sister Mrs. Joe Gargery and her husband Joe Gargery the Blacksmith. Pips mother and father were both dead, so Pips sister grudgingly brought him up. Joe was a mild, good natured, easy going and sweet tempered yet foolish man. This is a complete contrast to Mrs. Joe Gargery who, as you read the book more, you like less and less. Joe and pip got on well as Mrs. Joe Gargery overpowered them both, Pip treats Joe as, " a larger species of child," and Joe treats Pip almost as his equal, but they both have respect for each other. Satis House was very dark inside the only light came from a candle that Estella holds, " still it was all dark, and only the candle lighted us," This is showing another contrast, this time of light and dark. ...read more.

Middle

In the beginning of chapter twenty- seven, Biddy does not read to Joe the line in her letter which asks Pip to see Joe when he goes to visit, this is because she worries that now Pip is a gentleman he wont have time for Joe. When Joe arrived, Pip was very polite to him and made conversation, " And you, Joe, look wonderfully well." Pip is annoyed with Joe for calling him sir as Joe has always been around for him and Pip had always treated him more as an equal, than as if he were above him in class, " Joe-how can you call me sir," Pip wants to become a gentleman in the first section of the novel, because Estella, who Pip finds very beautiful and thinks of as a lady, makes him feel that he is 'common'. In the second stage of the novel Pip becomes a gentleman like he wanted, but is ashamed of his background with Joe, Biddy and the forge. The plots then join up in the third stage of the novel and Pip has to reassess his perception of people and class. The second stage ends with the arrival on a wild, stormy night of Magwitch, the convict from the marshes. ...read more.

Conclusion

As Pip tries to hide Magwitch from Compeyson and trying to get him out of the country, Pip is sincerely worried for him and fears for his safety. As Magwitch lay ill in hospital Pips care and concern grew, " Are you in much pain to-day?" Though Pip was not to sure of Magwitch at first his perceptions of him changed and Pip realized that Magwitch was in fact a good man inside, as Magwitch died Pip said, " O Lord, be merciful to him a sinner!" asking for his forgiveness. When Pip becomes ill, he wakes to find Joe with him, Pip had been quite horrible to Joe after becoming a gentleman and knew it. Pip feels really guilty, "O Joe, you break my heart! Look angry at me, Joe. Strike me, Joe. Tell me of my ingratitude. Don't be so good to me!" He now realizes that Joe is a good man and a true gentleman. Pips perceptions have changed, as he now realizes its what is inside that counts, not what you dress like or how much money you have, he also realizes that it does not matter what you are classed as. Pip has realized that money cant by happiness either, Miss Havisham taught him this because, though she was rich she was a very unhappy lady. ...read more.

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