What it Means to be a Gentleman in Dickens' Great Expectations

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What it Means to be a Gentleman in Dickens' Great Expectations

Throughout the novel of Great Expectations, Dickens is interested in what it means to be a gentleman. He tries to show us by telling us a story about a young boy Pip in which he grows up trying to become a gentleman, through Joe who is Pip’s brother in law who is a poor but a decent, hardworking man and also Magwitch the convict, who changes through the story but Pip especially changes.

Great Expectations was narrated by Pip which he talks about his childhood and he growing up. This is called Bildungstoman.

There was only really one reason why Pip wanted to become a gentleman, and that was to impress Estella, the girl he loved
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Dickens uses this word because I think it has something to do with Pip becoming a gentleman. I think that the word Expectation means something that someone or something has to live up to or they know what they have to do. It’s like a duty to fulfil. When Pip was young, he was expected to be Joe’s apprentice and work in the Blacksmith all his life but because his desire to win Estella, he wants to become a gentleman so he has new expectations but he is preoccupied of finding Estella.

When Pip was a child, he was quite poor and lived with his sister who was married to Joe Gargery who is a blacksmith. His parents had died and so did his other young brother and sisters when they were very young who were beside their tombs aswell. This told me how poor people die earlier in life because they cannot afford medical care and live hygienically.

But when he was asked to visit Ms. Havisham, it all changed there. He found out that some people have better lives than him because they are richer. I think this may have influenced him, making him want to be that aswell. These people were high in societies who were educated, so he thought that if he was to become a gentleman, he would be in a high society enabling him to marry Estella.

Pip only had 1 sister and lived with her alongside Joe Gargery. His best was Biddy, his childhood friend. We never saw Pip
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