Pip's Personal Identity

1425 Words6 Pages
One of the most important aspects of character development in novels is the process in which a character develops their personal identity. There are many attributing factors that go into identity development whether it be cultural, ethnic, or religious backgrounds to others such as social support, family, or relationships. In the novels Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Hurston, the personal identity of the protagonist is developed by who the protagonists associate with. The authors of these two novels make a clear statement that identity isn 't affected as much by a person ' surroundings as it is by who a person surrounds themselves with. The theme is conveyed in each novel by changing the protagonists…show more content…
Pip begins the story living as a low class citizen in a "marsh country" (Dickens I). He is treated poorly by most of his family, such as being repeatedly beaten or being told demeaning lies such as that the "young are never grateful" (IV) and "naterally wicious" (IV). Statements and actions such as these give him what he believes his identity is at the young age without even considering the lower quality of his surroundings or what social rank he belongs to. A chain of events occur shortly after the story starts that leads the setting to a large estate where Pip is to spend time with Estella, a high class girl who has an innate grudge against males. While he took into account these new surroundings compared to his own residence, Estella 's harsh words and demeaning attitude make Pip question his personal identity more than the setting could have. The first thing he notices is the "great many iron bars to [the windows]" (VIII) which shows that there were many windows, followed shortly thereafter by Estella demeaningly proclaims him " 'boy ' . . . with a carelessness that was far from complimentary" (VIII). While the words she said made Pip question his identity more than the setting could have, it is made clear that Estella had a bigger impact on his identity after ther had…show more content…
The different authors used the characters setting in accordance with who they associated with to prove that the people who a person surrounds themselves with will have a bigger impact on identity than their actual surroundings. Each setting definitely had an effect with who the individual believed themselves to be, but always the person in their life made a bigger
Open Document