Great Expectations : A Coming Of Age Novel Essay

Great Expectations : A Coming Of Age Novel Essay

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Jamie Wiederholt
Mrs. Carson
AP Literature
12 August 2015

Great Expectations is a coming of age novel. This novel is a story of a boy named Pip, his initial dreams, and resulting disappointments that eventually lead him to becoming a genuinely good man. During his journey into adulthood, Pip comes to realize two diverse concepts of being a gentleman, and he comes to find the real gentlemen in his life are not the people he had thought. The most important pivotal moment in Pip’s development is when he finds out what a proper gentleman is, who his true benefactor is, and his great expectations come to an end.
Pip originally believes his benefactor to be Miss Havisham, and that he is destined to marry Estella, the adoptive daughter of Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham cruelly treats Pip like a toy; she makes him play with Estella, while encouraging her to insult and flirt with him. She promotes Estella to do so by saying, "You can break his heart." (Dickens, 61). She enjoyed having Pip shamed and offended. His longing to marry Estella and join the upper classes stems from his first encounter in the Satis house. Once he understood ideas like poverty, ignorance, and immorality, he wanted the opposite for himself. This realization is shown in the quote, “I took the opportunity of being alone in the court-yard, to look at my coarse hands and my common boots” (Dickens, 68). He fancied Estella, and her cruel insults led him to behave badly toward the people who cared most about him. In Pip’s eyes a gentleman is to be well-off, educated and have a high class; he desires these to win Estella. In his mind, Pip has connected the ideas of moral, social, and educational advancement so that each depends on the others in order to be a gentleman. Not ...


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... humanity, that of a true kind-hearted gentleman, who narrates the novel.
At the conclusion of Great Expectations, Pip 's fate is acceptable and enjoyable. Earlier in his life, he had changed from an innocent, caring boy into an arrogant young man as a result of his unrealistic hopes and expectations. However, when his expectations come to an end, so do his undesirable traits, as he is then a truly good-natured person and a true gentleman. Pip’s change came from his awareness of his benefactor, and the collapsing of his notion of a gentlemen being wealth, knowledge, and high class.

Works Cited
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg, 1992. Print.
"Pip 's Great Expectations." Pip 's Great Expectations. 7 May 2002. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.
"Pip, Estella, and Miss Havisham." Pip, Estella, and Miss Havisham. 6 Nov. 2005. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

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