Similarities to a Bildungsroman

In chapter eight, Pip awareness of his class and where he is in the hierarchy sharpens and causes Pip to resent Joe. After he meets Mrs Havisham Pips and Joes relationship slowly starts falling apart. Pip stops confiding in Joe, ‘I am glad to know that I never breathed a murmur to Joe. ‘ This portrays how his relationship with Joe had changed as before he would be happy to tell Joe everything. We also learn that Pip becomes embarrassed of Joes job… ‘I would not have had Miss Havisham and Estella see it on any account.

‘ Before Pip was looking forward in becoming Joes apprentice but now he doesn’t want to be apprenticed to Joe as he’s ashamed. We can discover Pip’s dissatisfaction with his life and his desire to change himself in chapter ten and fourteen. When Pip asks Biddy to help educate him in chapter ten to make himself ‘uncommon’ shows his dissatisfaction of his life and that he is doing all this for Estella, and has a desire to improve but we can see that although he gets an education we can see that he has not become a better gentleman he has become worse.

He is dissatisfied with Joe’s job as he finds it ‘common’ for Miss Havisham and Estella. Pip feels that he has no romance or interest in his life as if ‘a thick curtain had fallen on all its interest and romance, to shut me out of anything save dull endurance any more. ‘ We also see from Pips dissatisfaction that he is ‘ashamed of home. ‘ This shows his embarrassment of his family and home, we see how he changes and how his relationship with Joe changes.

Before he used to think that his house was home because of Joe, but since he met Miss Havisham and Estella he starts becoming dissatisfied with his identity of a working class person and has a desire to improve his identity to an upper class person. But as we go on in Chapter fourteen we see how older Pip regrets his dissatisfaction of his life because he realises how Joe had done so much for him… ‘all the merit of what I proceed to add was Joe’s. ‘ When he looks back as an adult he recognizes that what he done as a child was wrong and regrets how he acted when he was a child.

He realises that Joe is the real gentleman from inside and that Joe helped Pip turn into a better person but it was Pip who made him self slowly change who he was just because of his wish to impress Estella. This chapter has many similarities to the idea of the Bildungsroman because like Pip, the protagonist in a Bildungsroman meets with an event that must jar them at an early stage away from the home and family and in this book it is Estella that causes a rift between Pip and his family as he keeps this secret to himself.

The process of maturity is long, arduous and gradual, consisting of repeated clashes between the protagonist’s need and desire like Pip’s desire to improve to impress Estella, and the view and judgement enforced by an unbending social order in a Bildungsroman like in Great Expectation the judgements placed on Pip about his class changes Pips views of life which creates dissatisfaction.

From Chapters seven and ten what we can learn about Victorian Education is that poor people such as working and lower class people don’t have a proper education as they can not afford it. We can see that students are not taught much although they are taught the necessary materials such as reading and writing. They were taught the alphabet although it was not very important what lower class people had learnt as teachers did not pay much attention like Mr Wopsle’s Great Aunt who used to ‘sleep from six to seven every evening. ‘

From what we learn from these chapter is that Pip is lucky because during Victorian times very few poor children had a chance for an education and the fact that Pip does have chance to learn to read and write does help establish the identity of young Pip. What this suggest about Dickens attitude towards education was that he was against the fact that some poor children had no education and wanted to help the children who were poor, and thinks that Rich and Poor should get the same education, maybe that’s why Dickens portrayed Biddy to be as clever as Estella or maybe even more.

Overall what we learn from this book about how Dickens establishes young Pip’s identity at the start of the novel is that at the very beginning of the book we discover that Pip is a young, miserable orphan who is treated unfairly by his sister whom he lives, although his sisters husband Joe makes his house feel like home as Joes and Pips relationship is like the relationship between two best friends. We see Pip as a polite and respectful boy and we see that he doesn’t care about his class or about what other people see him as, just about who is inside and this creates sympathy from the readers for him.

Dickens portrays Pip as sweet, innocent child but as the story goes on we see how Pip develops and matures into a boy who changes and become aware of class when he meets Estella and tries to deny his identity as a lower class and family background so he tries to develop into a gentleman by getting a proper education to impress Estella but as older Pip narrates we see that he realises what a snob he was. Pip’s identity develops in more detail and depth as he slowly reveals the events in Pips life to establish his identity.

This story also begins to reveal its similarities to a Bildungsroman. As this story is based on the life of an orphan who comes upon an event in his life which creates distance from his family at an early stage. This helps him into his quest to become a gentleman which is similar to a Bildungsroman although not exactly as a Bildungsroman is written by the main protagonist himself whereas this story is not as it is a non-fiction story written by Charles Dickens.

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