Task: Discuss how Dickens establishes the identity of young Pip at thestart of the Novel. Consider: v How the Novel/ Pip’s journey is aBildungsroman v What Pip wants/ How he changes v How Dickens matchessetting to charater v Victorian society/ penal, Criminal system, Educationv Pip as a Narrator/ His description of his Ambitions
Great Expectations was written in 1860 by Charles Dickens, and is setin the Early Victorian Ages. In this novel we follow, a mainprotagonist, Pip, however his legal name is Phillip Pirrip, “my infanttongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit thanPip. So I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.” Dickenseffectively establishes the identity of young Pip at the start of thenovel through his use of setting and first person narration.
Great Expectations is classed as a Bildungsroman. This refers to anovel of self-development, or a story of one person’s individualgrowth through out their life, from a child to a mature adult. Likeall other stereotypical Bildungsromans, Great Expectations also hastheir main protagonist’s ambition to win over the heart of aparticular beautiful young woman. In the this case, it is Pip tryingto become a gentleman, so that he could be classed as the samestandard as Estella, his goal. In a stereotypical ‘Bildungsromans’,the main protagonist is usually an orphan, Great Expectations alsofollows this tradition as the main protagonist, Pip is an orphan, andwe could infer this, as his parents are “late of this parish”. ‘Bildungsromans”are often stories told by the main protagonist looking back on theirlife and how they got to where they are now. Again, Great Expectationsfollows this tradition, Pip, t…
…e novel Pip is an innocent little orphan boy. Helives with his sister and brother-in-law, Joe. Pip and Joe are bestfriends but through out the course of the novel their relationshipchanges. Mrs Joe, Pip’s older sister has brought Pip up “by hand”,which means that she has disciplined him using a whip, “Tickler”. As aresult Pip is very well mannered as we learn from his confrontationwith the convict, Magwitch.
The start of the novel follows the traditions of a stereotypical ‘Bildungsroman’because we meet an orphan who is confused about his past and hisidentity. His main goal is to become a gentleman so that he could beclassed in the same class as a particular girl that he fancies. Toachieve this goal he must make sacrifices. The major sacrifice Pipmust make is his friendship with Joe. Later he realises that classdoes not equate with happiness.