Great Expectations: Bildungsroman Character Analysis

822 Words4 Pages
The novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens exemplifies the bildungsroman genre, as it shows Pip’s coming of age through the conflict and misfortune he faces throughout his life. This overall contributes to his character development and maturation as he grows up and learns more about the people and world around him. From his childhood through his early adult life, Pip faces a variety of situations that leads to both moral and psychological growth of his character as he learns from the mistakes he makes. Pip is able to obtain a greater understanding of himself and what is truly important in his life after he experiences the world and realizes that being a gentleman in society does not live up to his expectations. The implementation of this…show more content…
The beginning of Pip’s relationship with Estella marks the initial change in how he views himself. From this point on, Pip begins thinking it is necessary for him to become a wealthy, educated gentleman in order to impress Estella and earn her love. When he obtains a large fortune from an unknown benefactor, Pips plans are set in motion and he moves to London. At this next stage in his life, Pip has left his family behind and is living his dream of being a wealthy gentleman with a high social standing. While his life seems to be going how he planned, Pip begins treating his family unfairly and is embarrassed to be around them. He states, “I had grown accustomed to my expectations, I had insensibly begun to notice their effect upon myself and those around me… I knew very well that it was not all good.” (213). Things continue going downhill for Pip when Estella marries Bentley Drummle and destroys Pip’s hopes of ever being with her. Pip also discovers that his benefactor is not Miss Havisham as he assumed, it is Magwitch. He is appalled that his fortune came from a dirty, lowborn convict, but is
Open Document