Great Expectations Bildungsroman Analysis

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The gentleman in the Victorian Age and in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations My essay on Great Expectations will concentrate on the idea of a gentleman, both in the Victorian Era and in Charles Dickens’ perception, as shown in the novel, focusing on the harmful and destructive effects that society may have on the purest values of the human soul. The novel is written in the genre of “Bildungsroman”, which describes the life of the protagonist as a natural self- discovery, evolving from one stage to another. Through a Puritan Pilgrimage, the character advances from inexperience and misunderstanding, to wisdom and social integration. The narrator contrasts the Victorian concept of a gentleman as a man of wealth, status, and leisure with the gentleman as a man of moral integrity, humility and generosity. Thus, Dickens will reveal his didactic message, also discussed by Stuart Mill, that people should focus on their own character and identity, rather than trying to imitate the pattern imposed by society. Starting from the Darwinian theory, showing man at the top of the animal…show more content…
Pip loves Estella for her beauty, but also because he sees in her a representative of a higher kind of life that he started to dream of. Thus, she becomes a symbol for his great expectations for the future, the great achievement and dream that will guide him, mixing his social ambitions with his love for her. Estella treats him with contempt. She calls him stupid, clumsy, “laboring-boy with coarse hands”, influencing Pip to develop a sense of inferiority. “Pip’s sense of inferiority urges him towards self-improvement “(Sara Dehghanzadeh Sahi). The wish to become a gentleman is not only caused by Estella, but also by people who have disregarded him as a child, like his sister or Mr. Pumblechook, trying to prove himself and to the world that he is worth more than everyone
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