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From your reading of the novel Great Expectations trace Pips growing awareness that his notions of what constitutes a gentleman are at best nave and at worst, seriously flawed. Essay

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  • on February 26, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,294 words

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Below is an essay on "From your reading of the novel Great Expectations trace Pips growing awareness that his notions of what constitutes a gentleman are at best nave and at worst, seriously flawed." from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In order to trace Pip’s awareness that his notions of what constitutes a gentleman are at best naïve and at worst, seriously flawed, it is necessary to first determine what Pip’s notions actually are and how they are formed.   The gentlemanly attributes that Pip aspires to in the novel are grounded in the Regency era Victorian ideals of gentility in which the novel is set.   That is, to be a gentleman one must be of a certain social status, educated, have wealth and property, and be free from the need to labour.   Though there was also a “moral component” to gentility which ascribed certain attributes to the idea which included “mildness, gentleness of manner, and kind treatment of others.”   It is this second component which Pip fails to understand and is the cause of his flawed notions.

Pip’s desire to become a gentleman originates from his first meeting with Estella and his encounter with life at Satis House.   His initial notions of what constitutes a gentleman are formed both by Estella’s dismissal of him as “a common labouring boy” her insulting attitude towards his “coarse hands” and “thick boots” and her contempt for him when he describes the knave playing cards as “Jacks”. Pip begins to identify a gentleman as someone who would be worthy of Estella’s affections, someone with expensive clothes and who is well mannered and reinforces Pip’s idea of gentility as based on social status and the freedom from the need to labour.

The shame Pip feels after his first encounter with Estella, leads him to believe he must distance himself from his life at the forge in order to become a gentleman and reinforcing the idea of knowing one’s place within the social structure of the era.

As the novel progresses Pip attempts to attain the ideals of what he believes constitutes gentlemanliness, first by attempting to become educated at Biddy’s school, and then having moved to London to fulfil his “great expectations” by amassing material goods such as furniture and...

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"From your reading of the novel Great Expectations trace Pips growing awareness that his notions of what constitutes a gentleman are at best nave and at worst, seriously flawed.". Anti Essays. 19 Nov. 2017

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From your reading of the novel Great Expectations trace Pips growing awareness that his notions of what constitutes a gentleman are at best nave and at worst, seriously flawed.. Anti Essays. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Your-Reading-Novel-Great-Expectations-Trace-3232.html