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How is the theme of class developed in GReat EXpectations

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How is the theme of class developed in pip visit to Satis house? In this essay I will be investigating how the theme of class is developed in Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth on February 7, 1812, to John and Elizabeth Dickens he was the second of 8 children 2 whom survived into adulthood. He was sent to school at the age of 9 but that good fortune was short lived; when he was 12 his father was imprisoned for debt. Dickens however visited him every Sunday but was forced to work in a blacking factory in horrendous conditions. His father was eventually released and was sent back to school however the experience would never forgotten. Arguably dickens viewed education as a key in success just as pip views becoming a gentleman a key in success. The Buildings roman, "Great Expectations" portrays the great intensification of a young protagonist orphan named pip. Pips name has a further meaning to it, it symbolizes a seen. We could link this to pips 'growing' knowledge of class and also in his attempt to become a gentleman. Pip lives with his sister Mrs Joe who "brought him up by hand". Mrs Joe is described as being extremely hardworking and overwhelmed by ceaseless chorus, for example "I never had this apron of mine off, since born you were..." suggests. Furthermore from the way treats pip implies that she is callous and rather strict. We know that Mrs Joe is quite cruel to pip when she says "if it weren't for me, You'd be in the churchyard long ago" this implies that she is trying to make pip feel intimidated and responsible, additionally her repetition of "who brought you up by hand" shows that Mrs Joe is trying to make pip feel guilty and uncomfortable, there for Mrs Joe is undoubtedly lower class in her speech and the behaviour towards pip. ...read more.


Also that in Victorian times there were high infant mortality. We could also link Dickens and pip by their level of class, as they are both at the bottom of the "social ladder". Dickens reveals that when pip met the convict at the start of the novel pip starts calling everyone including, ironically the convict 'Sir' which shows that he has absolutely no understanding of how Victorian society works and has no idea of his own class. We could also link the convict to Dickens father who was incarcerated for dept. Dickens visited his father every Sunday he may have used the imagery to describe Sati's house. Furthermore they both have aspiration of "great expectations" to become a gentleman. Dickens father had great expectations for him this may show how he got the idea for the title. Finally both of their lives were dominated by death as a result of their class and woman. Estella's name has a further meaning to it 'star' and is the objects of pip's desires. Although it is difficult for the reader to see whether his admiration for Estella is true love or whether she represents his desires to become upper class. Estella's name itself is miss-leading. In addition pip states that "I could at first see no stars...... but they twinkled out one by one" this represents there may be no hope but he is moving towards hope. Arguably stars are linked to predicting your future which is reminiscent of the title "Great Expectations" in fact we could link this to it as Estella could symbolize pips future. Arguably most significantly, the setting of sati's house revels a great deal about how the upper classes live. Firstly the house is described as having "great iron bars on it" witch suggest that the upper classes is separate from the lower classes and do not want to mix the classes. ...read more.


Estella and Miss Havisham have a feeling of superiority over pip. Overall our language reveals our level of class, pip from his use of language is lower class and Estella from her use of language is higher class. Furthermore the structure develops the theme of class by the way it's written, the novels opens with pip setting at the churchyard staring at five "stone lozenges" given the location of the story. We can gather that pip is an orphan and lost five siblings which show that in Victorian times there was a high infant mortality. Dickens then commences the conflict; a convict needing help, pip is terrified of the convict for example "I was trembling while he ate the bread ravenously" shows, the narrator is extremely effectual for example "when he came to the low church wall......like a man whose legs were numbed and stiff" the reader instantaneously imagine and feel part of the confessional conversation between the convict and Pip. "Great expectations" is arguably written in an autobiographical way as it reflects pip throughout his life and experiences. One could argue that dickens is not just telling a story he is also didactic about class and society. In conclusion, although wealth and money might be the source of power to success in the Victorian society. Dickens suggests that the whole idea of class is very specific, Joe and biddy is arguably the main heroes in the novel. After pip's transformation into a gentleman pip unquestionably changed his views on his beloved Joe and would even 'pay him (Joe)' to stay away from him. Pip who became a gentleman is embarrassed and mortified by Joe and is ashamed of his lower class background. However Joe always saw pip as his 'old chap' and that never changed regardless of pips class status. Conversely Joe still called pip 'sir' but never asked for anything which proves how kind and good-hearted Joe really is. ...read more.

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