Discussions of Charles Dickens, 82-92. William R. Clark, ed. Boston: D.C. Heath & Co., 1961. Letwin, Shirley Robin. The Gentleman in Trollope: Individuality and Moral Conduct.
In the novels Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and in Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones, expectations are a key idea. According to “The Dictionary” expectations are “beliefs that something will happen or be the case”. In the novel Great Expectations Pip faces several situations in his life that he uses to create his expectation of the future. Further, in Mister Pip Matilda uses Pip’s story, along with her own experiences to create her expectations. Perception and imagination are fundamental elements that support in meeting expectations.
Orlick as the Dark Side of Pip in Dickens' Great Expectations 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 Estella’s love working as a lowly blacksmith at the forge. The gloomy realizations that Pip is undergoing cause him to categorically despise everything about himself, feeling ashamed for the life he is living when illuminated by the throngs of the upper class.
This is best illustrated when he sees Satis house, which puts him into a state of mind of desiring to be a wealthy gentleman. In this novel, Pip’s ambition and self-improvement takes three forms: moral, social, and educational. Firstly, he desires moral self-improvement and is very hard on himself when he feels that he acts immorally, by trying to act better in the future. This can be noticed when Pip leaves for London and is disappointed with his behavior towards Biddy and Joe. Secondly he desires social self-improvement, after having fallen in love with Estella, who demands Pip to act according to high society.
Dickens has an incredible ability to use words to describe and create a vivid image using them. The first person point of view strengthens the emotions of Pip and how these emotions affect his life throughout the book. Dickens also uses themes such as ambition and self-improvement, and social class to describe the life during the Victorian Period and portray this life in the book.
Forster, John. The Life of Charles Dickens. New York: Bigelow, 1876. Kaplan, Fred. Dickens: A Biography.
“Charles Dickens.” Short Story Criticism. N.p. : n.p., n.d. N. pag. Rpt. of “’Dickens at Work: The Chimes’ in Dickens and the Scandalmongers: Essays in Criticism .” Univeristy of Oklahoma Press Feb. 1965: 50-70.
Athens, OH: Ohio UP, 1972. Pickrel, Paul. "Great Expectations." Dickens: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed.