Great Expectations is an Evergreen Novel Written by a magnificent author called Charles Dickens. Great Expectation is a story of Young pip, Philip Pirrip, the main character. Pip Has great expectations to be an upper class and not live like a normal working class all of his life. This novel charts the way that pip grows and how his hunger to improve life increases by many characters in this novel.
This Novel is a Bildungsroman Genre. This can be said as this genre often focuses on points like self-development and not only this but a Bildungsroman is also autobiographical. Great expectations focuses on these points. A Bildungsroman is also about how an individual has a desire to improve life and faces problems and how he/she matures from child into an adult. In this novel Pip is the Narrator meaning he is showing the world of Victorian time from his point of view this an advantage which the reader has because Pip is the main character and the reader has a sense of what he feels and to what extent his desire to improve life goes.
In the first chapter we understand that sadly Pip is an orphan as he is sitting in a graveyard next to his parents and brothers grave. He had 5 brothers, now his sister Mrs Gargery is looking after him, she claims that he she has brought up Pip by hand suggesting to us that she must have took him in her care when he was very little. Pip does not have a very friendly relationship with his own sister as she is very mean and can often upset Pip by mentioning the face that she should have never took Pip under her control. Comments like that often upsets Pip. However the only reason Pip can stay with her is because of one of his good friends who happen to be Pips brother in- law, Joe Gargery. Joe happens to be Pips good friends as they have one thing in common; they are both scared of Mrs Gargery and understand the fact that they can both get her upset. Joe also did not get the right education so he ended up being a Blacksmith. In the Victorian era being a blacksmith didn’t impress many, as it was not valued as a high job. However Joe Looks after Pip very much as he always tries to defend him.
As you might have noticed so far the Bildungsroman Genre has not been fully introduced as we cant see Pip struggling or desperate to be an upper class. However we have seen one of the other aspect of this genre which is the Autobiographical view as so far we have seen Pip’s views on other characters such as Mrs Gargery.
However the full Bildungsroman Genre is introduced when Pip feeds the Convict and after that when he goes to meet Estella and Miss Havisham. This is where the Bildungsroman genre is fully introduced.
For the first time in this novel we see another important aspect of the Victorian era. This important aspect is the class system. In the Victorian era there ruled Aristocracy. This means that they divided people into different classes. These classes were Upper class; these people were very wealthy and didn’t struggle in life and were thought to be very high. The next class was Middle class; they were also treated respectfully but they were not as wealthy or as high as Upper class. Nowadays if we were to put people in classes most of us would probably fall into middle class criteria. The last class was working class; these people were the ones that struggled to live and had to be treated liked animals.
Joe was a Working class and because Joe was a working class Pip also had to be a working class. Sadly pip was very dissatisfied with this and wanted to change this. This shows us that as Charles dickens was the author of this he must have felt the same about this ridiculous class system. However when Pip meets Estella he becomes ashamed of himself as he sees the house he starts to change and compares himself to the upper class people. When he sees the house he immediately feels that the upper class must be so happy and as he does not have all this he wants it. Because of the massive house Pip immediately starts to see the difference between himself and Estella. The obvious difference is Class Difference. Estella is obviously upper and Pip is Lower.
In this visit poor Pip starts to realise that he is not an upper class because of his clothes and his language. When Pip is in the courtyard he checks his clothes. This symbolises that he is thinking about his appearance, maybe he is thinking it is not satisfactory enough. We can see his dissatisfaction with life here. Charles dickens has cleverly and slowly brought in the Bildungsroman genre in the novel.
In chapters 10 and 14 Pip goes to school and realises the fact that school is his only key to success as he needs to be educated to be sensible and when he will be sensible he will match the likes of Estella and Miss Havisham. Pip has made Estella and Miss Havisham so heavy on himself that he is willing to do anything to be an upper class. When he goes to school Pip learns the fact that he is dissatisfied with life is that the learning facilities are not sufficient. At the begging of chapter 14 we realise the fact that Pip for the first time in his life is ashamed of home. This again shows his dissatisfaction with his life. Later on Pip regrets this dissatisfaction with life, as he believes that he had gone too far to be an upper class and his extent was of being an upper class has been regretted later by himself and he believes he should have been punished for his extent.
Dickens believes that in the Victorian times an individual only needed the education his desire to be something. Pips desire to be an upper class and to be rich is evened out when pip willingly goes to school as he is aiming high. Joe didn’t go to school and instead learnt of his father. This intends that maybe Joe never wanted to be something high.
When I started this essay I started of by exploring how much of a normal child Pip was but the wonderful creation of Dickens showed us all how Pip changed by meeting different people and how the Bildungsroman genre kicked in by Showing how badly Pip wanted to improve his life and how his desire to be an upper class. We see how this desire of an individual caused him to move to an unknown city and how he forgot about the people that best cared for him such as Joe and Mrs Gargery. This was how Charles dickens’ wonderful creation made Pip from a child not caring about what class he or the people around him were to a superior Pip who did start to feel ashamed of his class and the people around him and had a sense of shame about his home which he later regretted.
Without a shadow of a doubt this has been one of the best novel I have ever read and probably the best Charles Dickens ever thought of and wrote.