The Theme Of Childhood In Great Expectations English Literature Essay

September 16, 2017 English Literature

In the beginning chapters of ‘Great Expectations ‘ , Dickens pigments a graphic image of childhood.A The reader is able to come in Pips head and see the universe through the eyes of a child.A The word “ pip ” itself is a seed from a plant.A Seeds demand to be nurtured if they are to turn and flourish.A Dickens believed that kids have certain demands, these included to be free from maltreatment and to be able to cognize and conceive of. Through his portraiture of kid characters in the novel, Dickens ‘ societal commentary shows that childhood is a bad, lonely and distorted period when grownups seldom and inadequately supply for of import demands that kids have.

In the first chapter of the book we learn that Pip is an orphan with no friends and no caring household. When Pip tells us his name and how he can non articulate the word “ Pirrip ” we discover how ill educated he is. We besides learn how Pip ‘s imaginativeness and childhood naivete impact his return on life ; although most of his household died, Pip does non handle this as a major calamity but alternatively this secludes him and makes him utilize his imaginativeness even more. Through these opening histories of Pip, we can immediately see that Dickens treats childhood as an stray and formative period. Possibly this reflects Dickens ‘ ain personal childhood.

Devils dainties childhood as a clip when you are simple-minded, for illustration, Pip is best friends with Joe at the start of the novel when Pip is a small male child with no selfish ideas ; it is merely when he grows up and becomes a gentleman that he disowns Joe and becomes a prig. Dickens dainties childhood as a clip when we see small difference in other people, before the complexnesss of category emerge in maturity. An illustration of this is Herbert and Pip when they were both male childs, Herbert is evidently more bizarre and classy, but this thought ne’er goes through Pip ‘s head, he merely sees Herbert as somewhat unusual.

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Dickens implies that childhood is one large acquisition curve ; when we are kids we start to larn how to hold merriment, how to play and how to move sanely. It is besides a clip when we develop a sense of duty and take history of our ain actions. For illustration, Pip would frequently acquire punished by the “ tickler ” when he fell out of line, this rough whip could be seen as inhuman treatment but Mrs Gargery may hold been simply developing a sense of self-denial in Pip. When we are kids we besides learn how to organize relationships ; unluckily Pip struggled to organize relationships good, particularly with Estella. Dickens shows that childhood is basically a lottery with slightly lay waste toing effects for some as to the end point grownups produced.

Dickens highlights the argument of nature V raising in the novel. Can person ‘s background like Pips truly impact who he turns out to be, or is it destiny? Dickens plays with the characters Estella and Pip throughout the secret plan, was Estella born evil? Can Shoot go a gentleman despite his tragic childhood? Will Pip and Estella of all time acquire together? This on-going argument in the Novel shows Dickens ‘ involvement and captivation about this subject, set against a wider Darwinian and Victorian background. Dickens ‘ dainties childhood in the book as a sociological experiment.

At points in the narrative Pip has to make things for Joe that merely an grownup would make for a kid, an illustration is when Pip would learn Joe to read. This interesting relationship between Joe and Pip is sometimes seen as unnatural, but truly, Joe and Pip are merely two kids being friends. Devils could be proposing that childhood is ne’er merely a certain point in our lives and that basically, we are all kids.

Dickens besides highlights the fact that we all act like kids twice in our lives, he does this particularly though Mr Wemmick ‘s aged male parent. When Pip visits Mr Wemmick ‘s male parent, he has to nod repeatedly, “ nod off at him, Mr Pip, that ‘s what he likes ” , this nodding is similar to something person would make to a babe or little baby, non a to the full adult adult male. Dickens dainties childhood as a repeating rhythm and that in the terminal, when we are gray and old we become kids once more.

Dickens portrays childhood as a sad clip ; he does this through Pip ‘s household and personal life. Most of Pip ‘s relations are dead, “ him excessively ; late of this parish ” , and he has to set up with the evil Mrs Gargery as his replacement female parent, she is hardhearted and wicked and merely shows compunction on her concluding deathbed. Pip besides has to cover with the changeless grief of Estella and how she plays with his head. This is clearly a confusing and suffering clip for Pip and the manner childhood is portrayed is highly negative.

Childhood should be a clip of freedom and enjoyment, but alternatively Dickens creates loads that the kids in the novel have to populate with. For illustration, Dickens burdens Estella with the pecking Mrs Havisham, Estella has no life of freewill, her childhood is unfeelingly controlled. Dickens gives Pip the menace of Mrs Gargery ‘s penalties, “ She had brought me up by manus ” , and besides the load of assisting Joe. Neither Pip nor Estella has the opportunity to make as they wish ; they are ever being ordered around or under menace.

Throughout Pip ‘s childhood he is invariably surrounded by guilt and shame that plays on his scruples. As portion of this guilt, Pip is ever subtly reminded of justness. Whether it is through the gallows that are on the fens near to where he lives, or the soldiers and Magwitch, or even the great prison ships at the dock, there is ever a sense of guilt and justness in Pip ‘s childhood. Dickens is demoing that Childhood is a clip where you learn the boundaries between right and incorrect, and the thought of guilt and justness adds to the feeling that Pip ‘s childhood is non free and normal ; alternatively he lumbers the duties of an grownup. This could repeat Dickens ‘ ain childhood and how he was placed into an grownup ‘s universe far excessively shortly.


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