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How do Pip's perceptions of people and class change throughout the novel?

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Alex Oliver 10K Great Expectations Coursework How do Pip's perceptions of people and class change throughout the novel? In the novel, Great Expectations, class is a central theme as it was set in the 1820s when class divisions were very strict. It was very important where you stood in social classes. You would be looked down upon if social classes had mixed. It was thought that class was just about the money and about what other people thought of each other, but all it really is perfect speech, how you behaved with other people and manners. Pip changed himself from a simple labourer to a gentleman. He leaves the forge where he use to live with Mrs Joe Gargary and Joe, to live the posh life in London. Pip is a young boy living a simple life in the forge with his sister Mrs Joe Gargary and her husband Joe, the blacksmith. Joe was kind and loving, a "good, sweet tempered, easy going, foolish dear fellow" whilst Mrs Joe Gargary was totally opposite. She treats Pip badly, "She made it a powerful merit in herself". Pip feels comfortable in his home, at that time he was not aware of his social status and so he was happy were he was. Satis house was cold, uncomforatble and very old. ...read more.


Joe is definately the true gentleman here. Joe knows exactly what Pip is thinking of him, he think's he just making a fool of himself. Pip is forgetting that he use to be just like Joe, Herbet never treated him in this way, Pip just looks at Joe in a type of disgusted way and feels "Impatient with him and out of temper with him". Joe feels very out of place and he knows that Pip doesn't want him there. Pip has to realise that being a gentleman is not just about the clothes or the speech but the person inside is what makes a real gentleman. Joe just tries to accept the fact that he doesn't belong there with Pip, "You and me is not two figures to be together in London; nor yet anywhere else" Joe leaves after he gives Pip the message from Miss Havisham and leaves Pip feeling very guilty. Now he's very confused about his perceptions of classes. There are alot of unanswered questions in his mind. In the first part of the novel, Pip wants to become a gentleman because Pip made him aware that he was a "common labouring boy". In the second part of the novel Pip finally becomes a gentleman but he is ashamed of his background, Joe, Biddy and the forge, which was so good to him. ...read more.


Pip becomes very ill and Joe takes him home and takes care of him. Even after the all disrespect that Pip gave to Joe, he still helped him get better. When Pip finally awakes he see's Joe standing there before him, Pip is full of regret after the way he treated him earlier on. "Look anger at me Joe. Strike me Joe". Pip kept thinking about the way he treated Joe before, like a useless man that could only be a blacksmith, but now he found the respect Joe deserved "Oh Joe, you break my heart". But the only thing that Joe cares about is Pip and that he is well "God bless this gentle Christian man". Pip is a new man, a better man. Pip has learnt that the way people dress, act, behave and talk means absoultly nothing, its the person inside. His perceptions of people and class have changed and he has now become and a true gentleman and he knows it. Firstly he started off snobby and insensitive, but grew to be kind and gentle and doesn't even think about class anymore. Money can be used the right way and the wrong way. When it's used the wrong way it can cause unhappiness and change your whole life, no matter what you can buy with money, you can never buy happiness with it. You think you know who a person is by looking at them, thats nothing, you have to look deep inside them to find the real them. ...read more.

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