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How does Dickens establish the identity of young Pip at the start of the novel

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How does Dickens establish the identity of young Pip at the start of the novel? On the surface, 'Great Expectations' appears to be simply the story of Pip from his early childhood to his early adulthood, and a remembrance of the events and people that Pip encounters throughout his life. In other words, it is a well written story of a young man's life growing up in England in the early nineteenth century. It's an interesting narrative of youth, love, success and failure, all of which are the makings of an entertaining novel. The experiences that Pip has as a young boy are important in his maturation into young adulthood. These elements are crucial to the structure and development of Great Expectations: Pip's maturation and development from a child to a man are important factors of the genre to which Great Expectations belongs, a Bildungsroman, a novel of development. Great Expectations is an autobiographical novel, as Bildungsroman novels are. It isn't Dickens' autobiography, it is actually the autobiography of a fictional character who is Pip, but a lot of the experiences are taken from Dickens' own life. In this novel we meet Pip, a common labouring boy who becomes embarrassed of his lifestyle, and class, for he is of the lower-class. ...read more.


Joe seems like the only friend for Pip and is portrayed as the pleasant side of Pip's childhood. Dickens describes Joe as a "fair man" with "curls of flaxen hair". His eyes are a "very undecided blue". He is also described as a "mild, good-natured, sweet-tempered, easy-going, foolish, dear fellow- a sort of Hercules in strength and also in weakness". Joe defends Pip from "Tickler" and Mrs. Joe: "Mrs. Joe has been out a dozen times looking for you" and then, "and what's worse, she's got tickler with her" Then Joe tells Pip to hide: "Get behind the door old chap and have the jack-towel betwixt you", Joe wants to protect Pip and doesn't want him to get hurt by the cane. Joe and Pip have a special relationship and have a special game that they play at teatime. They "compare the way" they "bite through their slices by silently holding them up." Pip used to be quite happy about his life, even as a commoner, as he never realized that that is what he is. Pips' relationship with Joe Gargery is completely different to that with Mrs. Joe. Pip finds he can relate to him because Joe is treated in the same way that he is maybe because they are both only given ...read more.


Pip also cries and stamps his feet which shows the anger he is in. This is a turning point of his life. I conclude with the significance of the name Pip. A pip is a small seed of a fruit. The reader reads how Pip develops, and in connection with the seed that develops in to a tree, this is significant. This is why Ms Havisham advised Pip to keep his name, even after being a gentleman. This is part of his identity, and his love is also part of his life. This is a strong link to bildungsroman. Some people are willing to do anything for love. This is an example in everyday life, as one may watch a friend change for a loved one. However, it does not make a difference whether the change occurs consciously or unconsciously. The important thing is that it occurs. Amazingly, love has a way of transforming people. It may turn a common boy into a gentleman. In this, love alters the life and personality of Pip. Dickens has attempted to create sympathy for the convict at the start of the novel, to regard his father, who was imprisoned for fraud. He has also attempted to give us a clear view on Pip's identity. Dickens was very successful at this, to allow more interaction and entertainment for the reader. ...read more.

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