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Pip's Coming of Age

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on 6 January 2014

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Transcript of Pip's Coming of Age

Pip's Coming of Age
By: The Guilty Hands
Pip's Journey
Throughout the novel
Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens, Pip changes from when he is six years old and living with his sister to when he is 23 living in the city of London as a gentleman. His views on people, ideas, and places changes dramatically due to many factors that affect his life. In this way, Dickens creates Pip's life as a coming of age novel, but also to emphasize some themes that go along with Pip's growth.
Dickens creates Pip's life in such a way that is emphasizes many themes that Dickens has a strong opinion on. Although there were many themes, two themes in particular stood out in the story. We have decided that those two themes are
Social Satire
Social Satire
One of the major and most prominent of the many themes in
Great Expectations
is that of social satire. Dickens being of the lower class had many opinions about the upper class in Victorian England that clearly stand out in his novel. These opinions are most seen in how he conveys the upper class and city life as corrupt and impure while it is juxtaposed with the simple, happy, pure life of the country and the lower class.
Charles Dickens used guilt as one of the main themes in the novel
Great Expectations
. By using this it gives us an insight on what it made Pip think, especially when he stole the food and the file. This theme is also used vice versa. By Pip being how he is with his moral conscience and with the decisions he makes, he enforces the theme of guilt that Dickens is trying to bring across.
Coming of Age
Charles Dickens wrote the novel
Great Expectations
as a coming of age novel. A coming of age novel is a novel in which the reader is able to watch the main character of a story grow up and change as they age and learn. As Pip grows up, he falls in love with Estella and becomes aware and ashamed of his lower class backgrounds. He decides he wants to become a gentleman. With the help of his secret benefactor, who turns out to be Magwitch, the convict whom Pip helped when he was young, he gets expectations that he is determined towards. These expectations are what lead him on his journey and his coming of age.
Social Satire Quotes
Coming of Age Quotes
“I took the opportunity of being alone on the court-yard to look at my coarse hands and my common boots. My opinion of those accessories was not favourable,” (Dickens 60).
This quote emphasizes the effect that Estella's comments had on Pip. It also marks Pip's realization of his lower class status. This is an important turning point in Pip's life that has been greatly affected by social classes and the social satire that Dickens includes in this novel.
“‘As I may say, and one man’s a blacksmith, and one’s a whitesmith a goldsmith, and one’s a coppersmith. Diwisions among such must come and must be met as they come. You won’t find half so much fault in me if, supposing as you should ever wish to see me, you come and put your head in at the forge window and see Joe the blacksmith at the anwil,’” (Dickens 223-224).
At this part in the novel, Joe is telling Pip that he is not at home in the upper class city area where he is visiting Pip. Joe is expressing to Pip that he is happy being of the lower class, even if he does not have as much money or social credit as others. He is enforcing the boundary that Pip had crossed between upper and lower class. Joe is almost saying to Pip that they cannot be friends as they used to be because of the wide gap between the classes.
“So fur as I [Joe] could find, there warn’t a soul that see young Abel Magwitch, with as little on him as in him.” (Dickens 345)
This is one of the various quote Joe says that highlight educational satire in the classes. It is obvious that some of the words are spelled wrong and the grammar is not correct. Dickens did this on purpose to stress Joe's education through his dialect as a person of the lower class as opposed to someone of the upper class such as Mr. Jaggers who does not have the same difficulty with words.
“Though she called me ‘boy’ so often, and with a carelessness that was far from complimentary, she was of about my own age. She seemed much older than I, of course, being a girl, and beautiful and self-possessed; and she was as scornful of me as if she had been one-and-twenty, and a queen,” (Dickens 55)
In Pip's description of Estella, he thinks she is perfect and falls in love with her. This love is the main stimulus to Pip's decision to become a gentleman. However, the fact that Estella calls him 'boy' shows that she does not love him back. this fact is important to Pip's coming of age because even though he became a gentleman, he still could not win Estella's heart, which means he changed himself completely in vain.
“So imperfect was this realization of the first of my great expectations that I looked in dismay at Mr. Wemmick ‘Ah!’ said he, mistaking me, ‘the retirement reminds you of the country. So it does me.’” (Dickens 171)
This quote represents Pip's realization of what it means for him to strive towards being a gentleman. In this part, he is first leaving the forgery to go to London. He realizes when he goes to the city that it is very corrupt and not at all what it is made out to be.
“I [Biddy] hope and do not doubt it will be agreeable to see him [Joe] even though a gentleman, for you [Pip] had ever a good heart, and he is a worthy, worthy man,” (Dickens 217).
In this quote, Biddy is writing to Pip to let him know that Joe wants to visit him. This particular sentence shows that Biddy thought of Pip as having a good heart, because that is how she had known him before. However, as he is now a gentleman, Biddy also writes with formality. She asks Pip to not think little of Joe just because he is now of lower class than Pip. This shows that Biddy knows that he has changed a great deal in his coming of age.
Guilt Quotes
“Joe offered me more gravy, which I was afraid to take,” (Dickens 25).
Joe just keeps giving Pip gravy and he feels guilty that Joe is giving him so much even though he stole from him earlier and with every spoonful that he’s given the guilt just increases more and more.
“A dread possessed me that when I least expected it, the file would reappear. I coaxed myself to sleep by thinking of Miss. Havisham’s next Wednesday; and in my sleep I saw the file coming at me out of a door, without seeing who held it, and i screamed myself awake.” (Dickens 77)
This is another spot in the book where what Pip stole from Joe and gave to Magwitch causes him to feel guilty. It keeps appearing in his thoughts and he's afraid of what could happen if anyone were to find out.
”The gates and dykes and banks came bursting at me through the mist, as if they cried as plainly as could be, ‘A boy with Somebody-else’s pork pie! Stop him!’" (Dickens 15)
This occurred after he had stolen the food and the files and it is as if his thoughts are trying to guilt him to turn around and return everything before giving them to a convict. It shows the severity and importance of guilt in the novel.
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