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Pip is growing up in the first half of the nineteenth century. How great would his expectations be, and what clues are we given to this in chapter One?

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Pip is growing up in the first half of the nineteenth century. How great would his expectations be, and what clues are we given to this in chapter One? On the surface, Great Expectations appears to be simply the story of Pip from his early childhood to his early adulthood, and a recollection 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. At first glance, it may appear this way, an interesting narrative of youth, love, success and failure, all of which are the makings of an entertaining novel. However, Great Expectations is much more. Pip's story is not simply a recollection of the events of his past. The recollection of his past is important in that it is essential in his development throughout the novel, until the very end. The experiences that Pip has as a young boy are important in his maturation into young adulthood. ...read more.


Dickens uses Pip's deterioration from an innocent boy into an arrogant gentleman and his redemption as a good-natured person to illustrate the idea that unrealistic hopes and expectations can lead to undesirable traits. Despite Pip's unpleasant traits, it is massively believed that Charles Dickens actually based Pip's character around himself as a child and young adult. In 1824, his Father was imprisoned for dept, so the 12 year old Dickens was sent to work at Warren's blacking factory for five months, applying labels to bottles, as to help clear his family's dept. But it is regarded that he felt he was much better than his peers, found the work degrading and humiliating, and believed that he was above the grubby lifestyle of manual labour and embarrassingly low wages. After this, he worked as an office boy for a solicitor in 1827, and then was a freelance reporter in 1829, to then become a parliamentary reporter in 1831. Despite the increasing status of his jobs, he still believed that he could do better, and was not fully satisfied with his position in society until he was an accomplished author and writer. ...read more.


Even after the threatening demeanour of Magwitch is reduced, Pip is encountered with the expectation of losing his internal organs to the "vicious young man hiding in the bushes", but luckily for Pip, Magwitch allows him to live, whilst presenting him with the expectation of fetching food and a file in time for the next morning. But aside from the many smaller and less related expectations that Pip is given, there are his long term expectations, like his future occupation/s and his life's aspirations. For Pip, the greatest scenario he can dream of, and his highest (although literally on the verge of impossible) expectations, would be to become extremely rich, and to be at the top of the British class system, with a respectable and an extravagantly high paying job. Obviously, no one would expect Pip to even surpass the status of being a blacksmith, because in reality, that would most likely be Pip's one and only, life-long profession. ...read more.

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