Different Qualities of a Gentleman Portrayed by Charles Dickens in Great Expectations

721 Words3 Pages
Different Qualities of a Gentleman Portrayed by Charles Dickens in Great Expectations

In this essay I will be looking at how the different qualities of a 'gentleman' is portrayed, by Charles Dickens, throughout "Great Expectations".

In the beginning of the story a 'gentleman' is seen, through Pip, as someone with wealth, education and high social status. This materialistic definition of a gentleman can be seen in the description of the character Bentley Drummle, who clearly isn't a gentleman, "… he was idle, proud, niggardly, reserved and suspicious. He came of rich people down in Somersetshire, who had nursed this combination of qualities until they made the discovery that it was just of age
…show more content…
To pip being a 'gentleman' also meant that you had to be respected and when he 'becomes a gentleman' he is treated respectfully by Trabb when goes to buy clothes when before he wasn't even looked at.

Magwitch's view of a 'gentleman' is someone who can be made using money. From the reaction Pip receives from society, Magwitch believes he has made a 'gentleman' out of Pip.

Herbert, a 'true gentleman' in the novel, is regarded throughout the story by pip as a 'gentleman'. First it was because of his class and his manners during the fight. Also for the fact that he decided to marry Clara to relieve her from taking care of her drunk father. Herbert's overwhelming politeness and patience is particularly contrasted to Pip's increasing rudeness and bad behaviour when Joe comes to stay. Herbert treats him better than Pip himself. The fact that Hebert is a 'gentleman' is surprising as his mother especially is rude and lazy while his uncles and aunts are all money-grabbing and attempt to please Miss Havisham for her money although they have no real love for her.

Another 'true gentleman' is Joe, although he lacks the materialistic appearance of a 'gentleman', we can see through his actions and words that he is a 'true gentleman'.
Get Access