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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens utilizes his life for inspiration for the protagonist Pip in his novel Great Expectations. They both struggle with their social standing. Dickens loved plays and theatre and therefore incorporated them into Pip’s life. Dickens died happy in the middle class and Pip died happy in the middle class. The connection Dickens makes with his life to Pip’s life is undeniable. If readers understand Dickens and his upbringing then readers can understand how and why he created Pip’s upbringing. Charles Dickens’ life, full of highs and lows, mirrors that of Pip’s life. Their lives began the same and ended the same. To understand the difficulty of Dickens’ childhood is to understand why his writing focuses on the English social structure. Dickens’ life revolved around social standing. He was born in the lower class but wasn’t miserable. After his father fell into tremendous debt he was forced into work at a young age. He had to work his way to a higher social standing. Because of Dicken’s constant fighting of class the English social structure is buried beneath the surface in nearly all of his writings. In Great Expectations Pip’s life mirrors Dickens’ in the start of low class and the rise to a comfortable life. Fortunately for Dickens, he does not fall again as Pip does. However, Pip and Dickens both end up in a stable social standing.
Charles Dickens, born February 7th, 1812 in Portsmouth, England was one of eight children. He was unfortunately born into a low social class and in the English society that often meant you were the rag dolls for the rest of the country. Although his father didn’t solicit an abundance of money he spent it as if he did. They lived entertaining lives but as a result of their frequent spending they...

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...ere is one more connection Dickens maybe didn’t intend to happen but it is one that adds to the list; Dickens and Pip ended their stories on a good note. Both men finished a class above where they started. Dickens was an exceptionally great writer and made the connection on purpose for readers to grasp.

Works Cited

“About the book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: The Similarities Between Dickens and Pip.” A Date with Dickens. Oprah’s Book Club. 6 December 2010. Web. 21 March 2014.

“Biography of Charles Dickens(1812-1870).” Grade Saver. 1999. Web. 13 March 2014.

Carswell, Beth. “11 Charles Dickens Facts.” Abe Books’ Reading Copy. 1996. Web. 28 March 2014.

“Charles Dickens(1812-1870).” BBC. 2014. Web.12 March 2014.

Swisher, Clarice, Ed. “Charles Dickens: A Biography.” Readings on Charles Dickens. San Diego, Greenhaven Press, 1998. Print. 21 March 2014.