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One of the focuses in Great Expectations is growing up. How does the older Pip (the writer) depict Pip's growing up in Kent (Book 1) and London? Add a paragraph that compares your own growing up with Pip's development.

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Introduction

Lil Maisky Year 11 English Literature Coursework: Great Expectations One of the focuses in Great Expectations is growing up. How does the older Pip (the writer) depict Pip's growing up in Kent (Book 1) and London? Add a paragraph that compares your own growing up with Pip's development. Great Expectations is a novel of morals and about learning from one's mistakes and lack of judgement. The older Pip, looking back on his childhood, depicts his younger self as an innocent naive boy in Kent who thinks that he will obtain everything he wants, including the woman he loves, by wealth and social class. As he stays in London for longer under the watchful eye of his convict of a benefactor, Magwitch, but more accurately his guardian, Jaggers, he learns that social class and economical superiority are not everything. One has to stay loyal to those who care for us not only for our money and status, but for our true selves. In the beginning of the book, Pip is caught in a hostile family situation between an abusive sister and her gentle, weak but kind husband, Joe. ...read more.

Middle

The older Pip has already lived through all of these experiences and has had much time to look back and reflect upon his past actions. Possibly events have taken place that have resolved situations that were left unresolved by the end of the novel. However, the older Pip can now look back on his past with a sense of reconciliation with the past, even in a slightly light hearted manner. Upon his arrival in London, Pip is somewhat disappointed by the standards of living of the so called 'gentleman.' He wishes to gain property in a most materialistic manner and does so in an almost excessive way as the money he is using is not being earned by himself. He is using Magwitch, without yet realising it, at the same time that the convict is using him by turning him into something that he wanted to be himself, but unfortunately could never become. The older Pip, looking back on his past brings introduces us to two characters in particular, as being his two sides of 'gentleman status.' The good side, Herbert, is a gentleman yet a good and humble one teaching Pip to fit into the upper class society in a very friendly and modest way thus making Pip improve without feeling bad about himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pip wants too much, and ends up with nothing that he ever wished for. However, his ideas have developed and changed through experience. Everyone makes mistakes and commits prejudice, but the important thing is to learn from one's mistakes, and that, Pip does. Great Expectations is often seen as one of Dickens more autobiographical novels, as he too came from a poor background and rose to a higher 'Victorian gentleman' status. He achieved his own Great Expectations but never found happiness. This is probably what triggered the main theme in Great Expectations that happiness comes from within and not material wealth. At the time that the novel was written, Dickens had to deal with personal problems such as the failure of his marriage and increasingly serious financial problems. He reflects his own life's burdens through Pip in the novel. Although Pip ends up at the same financial point that he was before his status transformation, he learns important lessons through time and mishaps. He learns to love Joe, Magwitch and Biddy for who they are, and realises that he does not need Estella for survival. But probably the most important lesson Pip learns in the novel, and perhaps the most important theme in Great Expectations, is that no external standard of value can replace the judgements of one's own conscience. ...read more.

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