• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Far Can Pips Childhood Be Described As a Traumatic One?

Extracts from this document...


HOW FAR CAN PIPS CHILDHOOD BE DESCRIBED AS A TRAUMATIC ONE? Charles Dickens Portrays Pips life as a harsh struggle to survive against his cruel sister and the intimidating events unfolding around him. Although this appears to be traumatic in the modern sense of the issue, society has changed since the Dickensian era and Pip's early years would be far less scarring to a young boy when set in context to the common attitudes of the time. However, with the fearful encounter with Magwitch and the diminishing experience of Estella, is pip subjected to much worse suffering than the average Victorian lad? We learn almost immediately that pip leads a sad life and was orphaned at an early age. Dickens cleverly uses the opening page of the novel to display Pips isolated situation, which he builds the rest of the story upon. We quickly learn about Pips great imagination, which is an important factor in his disturbing life ahead as it causes his problems to become exaggerated and far worse than they actually are in reality. Pips imagination is shown by his ability to picture his parents from the inscriptions on their tombstones. ...read more.


Only the rich folk could afford proper tutors whom taught their scholars Latin and other prestigious subjects. The standard child's education was at a dame school, which were commonly run by an old lady with little more knowledge than her students. These schools were very poorly run as shown in GREAT EXPECTATIONS by the dame often falling asleep. Pips education at the dame school is very poor and he finds himself being taught more by Biddy. Biddy is the only person his age that he is friendly with during his childhood. Pip finds it difficult to learn and claims he "struggled through the alphabet as if it were a bramble bush". This is very important to him as it allows him to escape the torture of Mrs Joe and become a real child. Mrs Joe does not encourage Pip's education as she sees it as a source of inquisitiveness, which irritates her. Mrs Joe uses fear to manipulate Pip and stop him asking questions. She plays on his imagination by scaring him with tales of questions being the beginning of a life of crime concluding in a sentence in the hulks. ...read more.


Most children, especially the orphans like Pip, were forced to work in appalling conditions in the mines and factories were they toiled long arduous hours and suffered many illnesses. A lot of children grew up deformed due to the constant cramped conditions and repetitive work. Pip has been allowed to live an easy life without having to work for his existence. Mrs Joe's complaints about Pips lack of respect for what she has done for him were quite justifiable in a society were children had to work for their food and lodge. Charles Dickens himself worked in a blacking factory in London whilst his father was in prison for debt. This was a very traumatic time for him and is reflected in many of his books. In my opinion Pip has been subjected to a traumatic life due to the sorrowful deaths of his parents and the harsh punishments he has suffered from Mrs Joe. I believe a childhood is about learning about the world around you and enjoying yourself while you have very little responsibilities to worry about. However, I feel Pip has had a fairly standard life when placed in context with the society of the era and he has faced very little danger and suffering when compared to the pitiful lives of many other children in those days. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Describe in detail, Pip's first visit to Satis House and how the visit and ...

    Pip followed the candle the way he had done on his arrival. She put the candle from the place she had picked it up on when he had arrived. Assuming that it would be dark outside Pip was rather shocked to see the daylight after so long of seeing by the candles.

  2. How does Dickens present Pip's childhood at the beginning of "Great Expectations."

    This fear is presented by Dickens with the repetition of 'and': 'who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled.' This repetition emphasises the panicky, breathless fright Pip undergoes. Criminals of different classes are seen as animals as shown in the occurrence where the two convicts, Magwitch and Compeyson, are brawling.

  1. Compare and Contrast Pips Life on the Marshes to his Life in London.

    Dickens uses the environment to represent what is going on in Pips head. For example the quote about the environment, "bleak, low, raw" are all miserable descriptions and have no life in them, this is how Pip is feeling at the time but Dickens uses it as if he was

  2. Who Or What Do You Think Has The Most Influence on Pip's Development And ...

    that I did not like her much the better of the two?" After Pip has fulfilled his expectations, he thinks of going back to Kent and taking Biddy as his wife. He is fully aware that he does not love her with the same ardour as he does Estella, but still respects and loves her enough to marry her.

  1. Satis house has been described as the

    Magwitch becomes like a father to Pip and he tries to smuggle Magwitch out of London. Magwitch is caught and sentenced to death, although he dies first, and Pip is arrested for debt. Joe comes to London, pays his debt and brings him back to health.

  2. Discuss the way that Pips treatment by adults during his childhood affects his adult ...

    This conveys Pip's image of when the convict turns him upside-down by describing how he sees the church turning around before his own eyes when in fact it is actually himself turning upside-down. However, at the same time the humour shows the terrifying effect the convict is having on Pip

  1. Discuss Pip's views of expectations and how they affect him.

    Pip's expectations are acted upon many different characters throughout the novel, and nearly most of the time they have a negative effect on others. These characters which the expectations have a more dramatic effect on are Joe, Biddy and Herbert Pocket.

  2. Dickens' skill is especially shown in his creation of Magwitch. Discuss the convict's ...

    Joe replies with a compassion answer saying," we wouldn't have let you starved to death for it...would us Pip?" Then Magwitch throat clicks. Here I think that this shows the two real gentlemen of the story. Although their grammar is not the best one shows remorse and guilt and the other shows compassion.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work