Stages of Pip Growing Up in the Novel "Great Expectations

analytical Essay
1006 words
1006 words

Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens that thoroughly captures the adventures of growing up. The book details the life of a boy through his many stages of life, until he is finally a grown man, wizened by his previous encounters. Dickens’ emotions in this book are very sincere, because he had a similar experience when his family went to debtor’s prison. Pip starts as a young boy, unaware of social class, who then becomes a snob, overcome by the power of money, and finally grows into a mature, hardworking man, knowing that there is much more to life than money. In the first stage of Great Expectations, Pip begins as a contented boy, happy with his own way of life, but soon becomes humiliated by the ones he loves, and starts to morph into someone who is very status-conscious. At the start, Pip looks up to Joe, and even says, “Joe and I (were) fellow-sufferers…” showing that Pip regarded Joe as an equal (Dickens 7). At this stage in Pip’s life, he has not yet realized what social class is, and so he is perfectly happy being with Joe. Joe and Pip are good friends at this point, and Pip really appreciates him as a person. This all changes after Pip’s first visit with Estella, especially when he says, “Her contempt for me was so strong that it became infectious, and I caught it,” showing that he is beginning to take into account other people’s thoughts about himself (62). Although Estella looks down upon Pip for being ‘common’, there is irony in his statement, because Estella comes from an even lower class than him. Throughout the whole novel, Pip tries to impress her, thinking that she is well above him, when she is actually the daughter of a convict. Finally, Pip shows betrayal to Joe when he says, “I was truly ... ... middle of paper ... ... message that speaks as a voice of social reform. Dickens’ is trying to say that one should not worship money, as it can completely change a person, and in this case, for the worst. Readers feel that money and power do corrupt, and that social distinction is something that should not occur, even though it does. Even in the singular case of Pip, one can see just how obsessed people become with social class, instead of focusing on the things that really count, such as the people one loves. As Linda K. Hughes of the New York Times once said, “…Victorians were almost obsessed with becoming better people (social class)... This story truly captures that age,” which strengthens my point that Dickens’ was trying to portray this obsession in a negative way. The series of events that occur within the book parallel the real world and are indicative of true human nature.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how dickens' great expectations captures the adventures of growing up. the book details the life of a boy through his many stages of life.
  • Analyzes how pip begins as a contented boy, happy with his own way of life, but soon becomes status-conscious.
  • Analyzes how pip goes off to london with his newfound fortune to become a gentleman, though all that he would truly become is rich, wealthy snob.
  • Analyzes how pip overcomes the power that his money has over him and becomes a true, hardworking gentlemen.
  • Analyzes how dickens portrays an extraordinary message that speaks as a voice of social reform.
Get Access