Essay about Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

Essay about Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

Length: 3870 words (11.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Great Expectations may be read as a Bildungsroman because it charts
the progress of the protagonist, Phillip Pirrip better known as Pip,
from childhood to young adulthood. Great Expectations contains aspects
of: Autobiography, Ancestry, Education, Desire, Social Conditions and
Love. These are the themes of an English Bildungsroman. Traditionally
a Bildungsroman contains a story which consists of the development of
a character inside society. During this development the character clashes
with his/her social background (class). The protagonist would have suffered
from loss in their childhood and would eventually become accepted. This
essay is going to discuss and show examples of these themes to show
how the novel may fit into the Bildungsroman genre and how they are a
part of Pip’s progress. There are such elements of the novel that do not
fit the Bildungsroman and show that it has developed the genre a
little. To do this, the essay will analyse volume one of ‘Great
Expectations’.

The opening scene charts the development of Pip, the main character,
within the context of society just like a normal typical Bildungsroman.
Straight away from the first paragraph, Dickens uses some of the main
themes of a Bildungsroman. This includes autobiography, “As I never saw
my mother or father as their days were long before the days of
photographs”. This shows that Pip is looking back at his life and has
suffered a loss in his childhood, which conforms to the Bildungsroman
genre. From the first paragraph the reader has already been told why
he is called Pip, his family name is Pirrip, he is an orphan and that
he lives with his sister whose husband is a blacksmith. This indicates
that Dickens really wants to gain suppor...


... middle of paper ...


... from a kind, loving,
humble and innocent child into an independent, quite snobby person who
wants to do well and become a gentleman. Great Expectations has
fulfilled the criteria of the Bildungsroman genre in all the ways mentioned
in the introduction. The novel has been effective in charting Pip’s
development. It mainly focused on the two main themes of the genre,
‘Social Conditions’ and ‘Desire’. Pip started to act like the higher
class and was on his way achieving his desire to become a gentleman.
Great Expectations fits into the definition of the Bildungsroman in many
ways but goes beyond it by taking the hero into adulthood and in presenting
his life through the eyes of the protagonist as an older man. The novel
also includes a number of other features which also make it a love story,
a mystery novel, and a commentary upon the Victorian social order.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations Essay

- Charles Dickens takes the Victorian clothing concept into great consideration and uses it splendidly throughout all his amazing works of literature. It it also one reason why Charles Dickens is such a renowned author. One great example of how Charles Dickens uses this Victorian clothing concept is in the novel “Great Expectations.” In the novel, there are a great number of character descriptions. In addition, Dickens seems to play with his character’s appearances by dressing them according to their given social class....   [tags: Charles Dickens, Great Expectations]

Powerful Essays
1098 words (3.1 pages)

Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations Essay

- It is crucial for a reader to realize illuminating incidents that reveals implicit meanings in a novel. Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations has several illuminating moments where it functions as a window that shows the deeper meaning of the work as a whole. Pip experiences an illuminating moment when he attempts to help a strange convict, which leads to him being able to leave his abusive home and build relationships with others which proves the theme generosity pays off. Pip’s life is changed when he meets the convict that soon becomes his benefactor....   [tags: Great Expectations, Charles Dickens]

Powerful Essays
1062 words (3 pages)

Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations Essay

- Marcus Aurelius once said, "A man 's worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions." It is human nature to desire the approval from the outside world. However, like Aurelius said, ambitions don 't define a person. Throughout Charles Dickens ' novel Great Expectations, Pip 's character integrates ambition to become someone he is not and results in disappointment and sadness. When Pip does not receive a satisfactory outcome, he is quick to blame others rather than his own physiological desires....   [tags: Great Expectations, Charles Dickens]

Powerful Essays
1253 words (3.6 pages)

Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations Essay example

- Charles Dickens presents a very different view of Victorian women in his novel Great Expectations and they suffer badly in the hands of men. Dickens provides powerful portraits of manipulative women including Mrs. Joe, Estella, Miss Havisham and Molly. He depicts women in his novel with little softness and he has very little sympathy for them. Charles Dickens filled his novel with mutilated women. Why does Charles Dickens portray the majority of the characters in Great Expectations this way. Dickens depiction of women is unorthodox and it could be attributed to his personal experience with females in the 19th century....   [tags: Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, Woman]

Powerful Essays
1555 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about The Theme of Expectations in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

- The Theme of Expectations in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations      In "Great Expectations," the main theme is the theme of expectations. Dickens illustrates this theme through the character of Pip, by exploring the idea of ambition and self-improvement. The idea of expectations is the psychological mechanism that encourages Pip's development, as he is full of ambition and has "Great Expectations" about his future. Pip's expectations in the novel take three forms: social, moral and educational....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays Charles Dickens]

Powerful Essays
1487 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

- Charles Dickens' Great Expectations “Great Expectations” is a Bildungsroman. A Bildungsroman is usually the story of a single individual’s growth and development within the context of a defined social order. “Great Expectations” is recognized as a Bildungsroman since it has elements of autobiography. This is established in the text as it is old Pip looking back at his life and self development this is given away when the word ‘I’ is used. A Bildungsroman should contain education Charles Dickens has shown this through out the text....   [tags: Charles Dickens Great Expectations essays]

Powerful Essays
1554 words (4.4 pages)

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Essays

- Charles Dickens' Great Expectations One of Dickens’ most popular novels ‘Great Expectations’ is a griping search for identity- the narrator’s self-identity Pip has been born into a difficult world in the early years of the 19th Century. Philip Pirrip is the narrator of ‘Great Expectations’. In the book he is known as Pip. He called himself Pip because as a young child his infant tongue could only get across to Pip. I the first few chapters of the book he is described as a timid, sensitive and guilt-ridden person....   [tags: Charles Dickens Great Expectations Essays]

Powerful Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Essays

- Charles Dickens' Great Expectations “Great Expectations” is set in early Victorian England and was written by Charles Dickens in 1860. It is written as a first-person narrative with Pip as an older man telling his life’s story. I will be looking at how his extremely strict upbringing affected how he behaved in later life. The title “Great Expectations” shows an indication of the change in Pips fortunes throughout the story; from a poor family living in the country with a trade of being a blacksmith, to living a luxurious life as a Gentleman in London....   [tags: Charles Dickens Great Expectations Essays]

Powerful Essays
2014 words (5.8 pages)

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Essay

- Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Chapter one of the novel Great Expectations opens in a bleak and overgrown churchyard on the eerie marsh country. Here we are introduced to Pip, as a young and naïve boy, and we discover he is also an orphan, who lives with sister and her husband the blacksmith, in a small village a mile or more from the church. Whilst Pip is in the churchyard, he meets an escaped convict, Magwitch, whom Pip gives food to, and this encounter remains poignant in both their lives, as Pip goes on to receive the opportunity to become a gentleman, from a mysterious benefactor, and he abandons his friends and family for his “Great Expectations” and his London lifestyle....   [tags: Charles Dickens Great Expectations Essays]

Powerful Essays
2119 words (6.1 pages)

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Essay

- Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Introduction: ‘Great Expectations’ was one of Dickens’ best-known novels and was written in 1860. ‘Great Expectations’ is a Bildungsroman and follows the progression of Pip from child to adult; from humble blacksmith to gentleman; from innocence to experience; from rags to riches and on his journey, Pip meets a range of interesting characters, from the comical Wemmick, to the cruel Estella. This novel reflects parts of Victorian times, with class divide, child labour and improving one’s fortunes....   [tags: Great Expectations Charles Dickens Essays]

Powerful Essays
2231 words (6.4 pages)