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Pip's Perspectives on Social Classes in Great Expectations Essay

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a coming-of-age story written from December 1860 to 1861. Great Expectations follows the life of Phillip Pirrip, self-named Pip; as his “infant tongue could make of both name nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.” (I, Page 3) The story begins with Pip as a young child, destined to be the apprentice of his blacksmith brother-in-law, Joe Gargery. After spending time with an upper-class elderly woman, Miss Havesham and her adopted daughter, Estella, Estella, with whom he has fallen in love, he realizes that she could never love a person as common as himself, and his view on the social classes change. Pip’s view of society grows…show more content…
Joe called "Pompeyed," or (as I render it) pampered.” (VII, Page 39) This affection to the trade and his parentage starts to fade as Pip enters his teenage years. After Pip has spent time with Miss Havesham and Estella, Pip realizes that becoming the apprentice to the blacksmith is no longer what he wishes for in life. Pip wants to be with Estella, and he knows that the only way for that to happen is if he were to be a gentleman. He begins to see the gentle class as superior to the common folk, and that the common folk as low-lived. I set off on the four-mile walk to our forge; pondering, as I went along, on all I had seen, and deeply revolving that I was a common labouring-boy; that my hands were coarse; that my boots were thick; that I had fallen into a despicable habit of calling knaves Jacks; that I was much more ignorant than I had considered myself last night, and generally that I was in a low-lived bad way. (IX, Page 59) Pip reflects that, although at one point in his life, he had accepted who he was, and what he was destined to do, he no longer felt that way, and that he “had a strong conviction on me that I should never like Joe's trade. I had liked it once, but once was not now.” (XIII, Page 69) The part that Pip seems most conflicted by during this time in his life, is that he very well could have remained ignorant to the fact that there were others
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