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Pip changes a lot during his time in London. As we read the second stage of the novel, we do not like what we see of Pip because he becomes more and more of a snob. Do you agree with this opinion?

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Introduction

Pre - 1914 Prose Coursework: 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens TASK: Pip changes a lot during his time in London. As we read the second stage of the novel, we do not like what we see of Pip because he becomes more and more of a snob. Do you agree with this opinion? The hero of 'Great Expectations' is Pip and throughout the novel, our opinions of him change drastically. During his stay in London Pip changes the most and as we go on to read the second stage of the novel, we often fail to sympathise with Pip because he becomes more and more of a snob. Prior to his arrival in London, Pip makes it quite clear that he wishes to become a gentleman so that he can ultimately win over Estella's heart and with it her hand in marriage. But what exactly is a gentleman? A modern dictionary definition of this is: A well-mannered honourable man who may have a good social position. This is not too far away from the Victorian view (which would have been adopted by Magwitch and later on by Pip) as to what would have made a gentleman. At that time, any man was high in social rank or class, had the right by birth to be called a gentleman. A gentleman was also someone who could profitably manage his finances and would eventually own their own estate. ...read more.

Middle

He becomes honourable and chivalrous and learns to make a decent living in Australia. He is also capable of managing his finances properly so that he can send money to Pip. Magwitch also serves as the catalyst for Pip's thoughts, feelings and guilt during the final stage of the novel. Herbert, like Magwitch and Joe, is also honourable and chivalrous. He is also a person against whom moral values can be judged and he almost an ideal for others to strive towards. Herbert is also a person with a relatively high social rank and was profitably managing his finances until he became corrupted by Pip's lifestyle. It is these characters which Pip tries to emulate and shows some of this goodness in his visit to Wemmick's home in Walworth. Pip is incredibly courteous when visiting Wemmick's home and is quick to commend him on the beauty of the cottage and the idea of the flagstaff and bridge. "The bridge was a plank... but it was very pleasant to see the pride with which he hoisted it up". He is polite with Wemmick's old father ('the Aged parent') and shows a generous appreciation to the quality of the food that he consumed during dinner that night and at breakfast the following morning. During his stay in London, Pip's interest in Miss Havisham and her past deepens considerably, although he remains obsessed with Estella. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, there are moments during the second stage of the novel where this is not the case. Pip's total preoccupation with his new life clearly reflects his rejection of his past although this is to a certain extent, conditional on his Expectations. In addition, his treatment of Joe during the visit to London and his constant failure to visit Joe does show a certain degree of snobbery. Further examples of snobbery are Pip's harsh rejection of Magwitch when they meet at the 'Temple' (Chapter 39), Pip's reproach to Biddy following the death of his sister (Chapter 35) and his haphazard spending of money. However, at the end of Chapter 39, there has been a great change in Pip's character. He realises the truth of how he has been treating Joe and Biddy and as a result, feels a great sense of remorse. The older narrator of Pip even scorns himself on reflection of his past which he believes is unacceptable and he is so ashamed of himself that he feels that he can never go back and see them again. "I would not have gone back to Joe now, for any consideration...because my sense of my own worthless conduct to them was far greater than every consideration." Pip also admires Joe's and Biddy's simple lifestyle. This mood of Pip's sets the scene for the final stage of the novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? Bharrathi Sarvananthan - 1 - 'Great Expectations' Coursework ...read more.

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