Great Expectations tells the ultimate rags to riches story of the Orphan Pip. Dickens takes his readers through life changing events that ultimately mold the identity of the main character. Dividing these events into sections will provide the basis for interpreting which events had the most profound effect on Pip’s identity towards the end of the novel. These life-changing events provide the catalyst for the development of Pip’s character from childhood, his adolescence, maturing into a social gentleman, and finally becoming a self-aware man of society.
Charles Dickens’ aptly titled novel Great Expectations focuses on the journey of the stories chief protagonist, Pip, to fulfill the expectations of his life that have been set for him by external forces. The fusing of the seemingly unattainable aspects of high society and upper class, coupled with Pip’s insatiable desire to reach such status, drives him to realize these expectations that have been prescribed for him. The encompassing desire that he feels stems from his experiences with Mrs. Havisham and the unbridled passion that he feels for Estella. Pip realizes that due to the society-imposed caste system that he is trapped in, he will never be able to acquire
In our world’s history, class in the social hierarchy is a leading factor. People who belong to the upper class society tend to get benefits and uttermost respect from others. People who are lower in class tend to get close to no benefits and have to work hard to gain the respect of others or of their fellow citizens. In Charles Dickens Great Expectations, the main character Pip realizes this and longs to become a part of the upper class society to receive its perks. This bildungsroman of Pip’s life shows how social advancement is not more important than affection, loyalty, and self conscience through the use of details, symbols and motifs.
Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations chronicles Pip’s struggle to improve his status in English society. He is originally taught that his happiness directly correlates to the amount of wealth he accumulates. Two characters he encounters—Joe Gargery and Miss Havisham—help him realize that this notion is an unfortunate misconception, and their experiences show Pip that he not live his life by such norms.
The difference in class structures of Victorian England was dependent on the lifestyles and jobs of individuals. The Victorian era of England lasted from 1837 to 1901. The Victorian England hierarchy was divided into three different classes; the upper, middle, and lower class and was reliant of occupational differences. The hierarchy was very rigid and there was little social mobility, because of the fact that normally a person was born into their class and even their future career. In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens displays the model of class structure through the character Pip Pirrup. Pip struggles to find his place within the hierarchy. Throughout the novel, Dickens writes about the different classes in England. Pip belongs the working class due to his family and is set to be a blacksmith, but finds himself in the societal shift that occurred in England in the nineteenth century. Pip wants to achieve his great expectations and change the path that his life was going on. He wants create a better life for himself than what he would have had if he followed in the footsteps of his family. Dickens also creates various characters in the different classes to expose the relationship between each class. An individual’s class was a dominant factor in creating an identity. People of the upper classes thought very little of the people “below” them. Throughout his journey, Pip reveals information about how the different social classes lived and how members of each
In large communities, one’s social status reflects both how an individual is treated and how they are represented throughout the community. In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Pip and Holden, respectively, increasingly acknowledge the upper class for attaining more money while sympathizing with the lower class for being uneducated and receiving no rights as citizens. Charles Dickens describes the importance of wealth and popularity in the 1800’s as an essential part of life. He portrays the luxuries and level of comfort the rich receive through Pip, and makes the reader realize that society will always judge one on how much money they possess rather than how good hearted one may be. Additionally,
Great Expectations was a novel written by Charles Dickens. It was first published in serial form from 1st December 1860 and then further on was released in book form in August 1861, although was previously issued by David Copperfield in 1849. This novel reworks his own childhood as a first-person narrative; Dickens was fortunate and had an advantage of writing Great Expectations due to him living in the Victorian times, and he related his life experiences with the main character of the play, ‘Pip’. Charles opened the play with the character Pip; his name was short for his Christian name Philip. In the Victorian times there were 3 different classes, these were known as the upper class, middle class and lower class. Pip belonged to the
These social classes are defined by education, manners, and race. These classes originate when people feel superior to others according to a certain standard. Sustaining superiority in these areas permeates the actions of the town. The theme of social class appears numerous times in the book through Jem’s discussion of literacy, Walter’s manners, and Aunt Alexandra’s opposition to Scout calling upon Calpurnia.
People establish assumptions about others based solely on initial impressions. Covertly, society runs on social class and reputation. This creates not only inaccurate perceptions of people, it paints incomplete depictions regarding people’s modus operandi. This is prevalent in the two pieces of literature David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens, and To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. In these two books, social class and reputation stratify society. Just because one is wealthier than another, affluence and prosperity do not impact one’s integrity and character.
Charles Dickens uses his own opinions to develop the larger-than-life characters in Great Expectations. The novel is written from the point of view of the protagonist, Pip. Pip guides the reader through his life, describing the different stages from childhood to manhood. Many judgments are made regarding the other characters, and Pip's views of them are constantly changing according to his place in the social hierarchy. For instance, Pip feels total admiration that, later, turns to total shame for the man who raised him, Joe Gargery. The primary theme in this novel questions whether being in a higher social and economic class helps a person to achieve true happiness. This idea is shown through Pip's innocence at the forge, visits
Charles Dickens, author of Great Expectations, provides a perfect example of the hope of class mobility. The novel portrays very diverse and varied social classes which spread from a diligent, hardworking peasant (Joe) to a good-natured middle class man (Mr. Wemmick) to a rich, beautiful young girl (Estella). Pip, in particular, elevates in the social pyramid from a common boy to a gentleman with great expectations. With his rise in society, he also alters his attitude, from being a caring child to an apathetic gentleman. During this process, Pip learns how he should act and how to become a real gentleman. Social mobility and wealth, furthermore, carves a disposition and how a character is looked upon.
Charles Dicken's novel Great Expectations features a multitude of characters from various walks of life. The diversity of the characters highlights the contrast between wealthy and poor and, similarly, between the law abiding and the criminals present in the novel. Each character demonstrates a recurring theme found in the novel. One can gain insights into recurring themes found in the novel through analyzing Pip's social ambition, Magwitch's revenge, and Joe's empathy. Social Ambition is a theme seen throughout Great Expectations and can most effectively be explored through Pip.
Social class differences were a major contributor to the story line and the lasting effect of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Social classes has a broad set of criteria that the majority of people think determines class. Dickens uses class differences for various reasons but most importantly, he uses them to show how he felt about those differences. Additionally, the fact that the differences that Dickens displays in the book are similar to today's class variations, makes Great Expectations and its theme of class, influential to this day. Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations perfectly illustrates the Victorian era’s class differences and shows where Dickens compassions laid.
In Les Misérables, social class was the main way you either rich or poor and whether or not you had power, the other way you were rich or poor was how you treated others, if you were good or bad. In The Kite Runner, you were either rich or poor and had power or not, by social class, but the main way was the qualities you had towards people. In Les Misérables and The Kite Runner, both books show the many ways you could be rich and poor. I will show you how being rich or poor and having power affects the way you act and how you are treated.