• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Great Expectations as a Bildungsroman

Extracts from this document...


Yarram F Period Sai Yarram Professor Faley 12 IB HL English 9 December 2012 The Bildungsroman Expectations Although Great Expectations seems like an intriguing story of Pips' childhood and adulthood filled with love, disappointments, hopes, and success; it is actually a beautifully written Bildungsroman. According to The Novel of Formation as Genre by Marianne Hirsch, a Bildungsroman must contain four essential characteristics and Pip fulfills all four of these characteristics. The first characteristic is that a Bildungsroman must tell "a story of a single individuals' growth and development within the context of a defined social order". As the character matures he must "search for meaningful existence within society". The second characteristic is that the, the main character must endure some form of discontent from his early stages of childhood. The third characteristic is the path for maturation must be long and plodding where his judgment is really called into question and he questions his needs and wants. ...read more.


Havisham, the reader knows about Pips' beginnings and his hardships. He goes through discomfort through his childhood because he was an orphan ever since he was born and has been raised by his sister Mrs. Joe "by hand". Joe who is a blacksmith by trade, assumes that Pip will join in his footsteps and apprentice to Joe but after he meets Ms. Havisham his view about the "common people" is immediately changed even though he is a commoner himself. He despises his "course and rough hands" and even wishes he wasn't brought up by the way Jim brought him up. He does not have a close relationship with anyone even his sister because she is almost twenty years older than him, the closet person he can relate to is Jim who does not understand him once he beings to see Ms. Havisham. As a matter of fact, Mrs. Joe hates Pip and often beats him for the simplest reasons thus forging a mutual friendship with Joe. ...read more.


This can be viewed as Pips' turning point as he realizes that his "expectations" have been fake and he has hurt the people he cared about the most who are Joe and Biddy. He matures and realizes Biddy's' love over Estella and reconnects with Joe and Herbert, a critical characteristic of Bildungsroman. Pip ultimately comes in terms with the society, he becomes a gentlemen in business and even forgives Ms. Havisham for what she has done to both Estella and Pip. He tries his best to save Magwitch but Magwitch is hanged. This shows that Great Expectations is indeed a Bildungsroman but to top things off Dickens slightly changes up the ending so that Joe marries Biddy and Estella and Pip finally reunite. Estella leaves Drummle but the what the readers don't know is whether they finally marry or if its' just a finally meeting before they both depart. MLA Formatting Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. United States of America: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 1999. Print. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Commentary on After The Flood- M.S. Merwin

    "I felt I must surely remember, they looked so familiar" shows that. Another theme could be the poet describing Nature as beauty but also a cause of destruction. He feels betrayed by the river, for it has been calm and relaxed all this while and in a flash it destroys everything in its path.

  2. Great Expectations - The More Effective Ending? Charles Dickens Great Expectations has two contradicting ...

    Furthermore, Estella's conversion from a heartless woman seeking Miss Havisham's revenge to an entirely understanding and affectionate individual is completely unconvincing. This exceedingly shocking change in personality not only contradicts the logic of the novel but also excuses the way Miss Havisham raised Estella.

  1. Reading Notes: Great Expectations Plot Outline

    He becomes jealous of the men she has encountered and tries once again to win her over but it is unsuccessful because she marries Bentley Drummel.Pip then visits Miss Havisham's house once more but this time is different because this is the last time he sees her.

  2. Reflections on "Miss Julie" in a cultural context

    show that to this extent she was struggling to fit in the society again when she tries to escape with Jean but it doesn?t work probably she decides to do suicide. This reflects on how social classes where important in Europe at that time and if one lost it s/he

  1. To What Extent is The Sound of Waves a Good Depiction of the Genre ...

    This flaw of Shinji prevented him from entering adulthood and it was only when the schemas of the village interfered with his relationship with Hatsue.

  2. The Man Behind It All. Magwitch in "Great Expectations".

    ?You are envious, Biddy, and grudging. You are dissatisfied on account of my rise in fortune, and you can?t help showing it.?(149) He undervalues Joe and Biddy?s importance in his life. Pip realizes further on in the novel that Magwitch is Estella?s father, and that he was also Pip?s secret benefactor.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work