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The only real gentleman in Great Expectations is Herbert. Write an essay arguing either for or against this point of view using quotations to support your arguments.

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Introduction

The only real gentleman in Great Expectations is Herbert. Write an essay arguing either for or against this point of view using quotations to support your arguments. You should look at other characters, for example, Pip, Joe, Drummle and Compeyson. You will need to define exactly what you think is meant by a 'gentleman'. Throughout Great Expectations, the author, Charles Dickens, makes a point of focussing on 'gentlemen', in particular, Herbert Pocket, Pip Pirrip, Bentley Drummle, Compeyson, and Joe Gargery. He shows his personal opinion on the subject, namely that money does not necessarily make a gentleman. The dictionary defines a gentleman as being a man on honourable and kindly behaviour and of good social position. In this essay, I shall be arguing the point that Herbert is the only true gentleman in the dictionary sense of the word. Herbert Pocket is one of the children of Mr. Matthew Pocket and his wife Camilla. His father is a private tutor, and his mother comes from a well-bred family. They are impoverished aristocrats and do not have much money. Despite this, Herbert has been well brought up. In the book, our first encounter with Herbert is during Pip's second visit to the home of Miss. ...read more.

Middle

This putting others before himself is a gentlemanly quality. In conclusion, Herbert is definitely a gentleman, and there are many examples of this in the text. Bentley Drummle is another of the 'gentleman' in Dickens's story. He is a rich man, and is heir to a baronetcy. Dickens, through his writing, shows that Drummle is not a true gentleman. He is described as having "a large awkward tongue" and being "idle, proud" and "niggardly"; these are not properties that a gentleman should be proud of. Pip describes him as "reserved and suspicious" and calls Drummle a "blockhead." He is selfish, arrogant and disagreeable. He is likened to "some uncomfortable amphibious creature" and a "floundering heavy creature." These quotations suitably reflect his personality and behaviour. Later on in the book, Drummle is making fun of Pip's origins when he says "curious little public-houses and smithies and that". Drummle's pursuit of Estella is not for love, but simply to own her, to have her as a possession. After the wedding, Drummle becomes violent and callous towards Estella. Although Bentley Drummle has the social status and wealth to be a gentleman, he lacks morals and is not as true a gentleman as Herbert. ...read more.

Conclusion

He thinks that he had instantaneously become a gentleman, and with that belief, he sees himself as above everybody else. He becomes arrogant, snobbish and self-important. He is still the boy he was at the start f the story, yet he does not realise it until he meets Herbert, and realises he has still got a long way to go before he can be called a gentleman. During his time living with Herbert, Pip learns from him and evolves into a more gentlemanly figure, although he still lacks certain things. When Magwitch arrives, Pip plans for him to leave the country, putting his own life at risk. Pip also sets Herbert up in business, without his knowledge. At the end, after losing Magwitch's money, he is quite content in moving back to the forge to live with Joe. These three things show that Pip has completed his personal evolution from a simple country by into a gentleman. Herbert, throughout the entire book, has been a gentleman, whilst Pip has grown up to become a gentleman throughout the whole course of this book. Joe has the morals of a gentleman, yet lacks status and money, while the opposite is true for Drummle and Compeyson, they have status and money, yet they lack the morals needed to become a true gentleman. ...read more.

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