How Does Pip Affect Human Development

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Great Expectations written by Charles Dickens is a novel that deals with the initial years and spiritual training of the main character, Pip. About a year before Dickens began writing this novel, Charles Darwin published his theory on human development. The question of human development and the effects of nature versus nurture on development immediately became an important topic for public debate. Dickens incorporated this debate into his novel by experimenting with the effect of nurturing and environment on development. Keeping in mind that Pip is on a journey through his initial years, Dickens represented Pip in a world layered with guilt and described the effect that this environment has on his development. Pip begins his life in an environment…show more content…
Joe, who immediately rose. ‘I tell you what, young fellow,’ said she, ‘I didn’t bring you up by hand to badger people’s lives out. It would be blame to me, and not praise, I had. People are put in the Hulks because they murder, and because they rob, and forge, and do all sorts of bad; and they always begin by asking questions.Living in this guilt ridden environment, Pip encounters the convict Magwitch in the churchyard. Pip agrees to help Magwitch in his elope by bringing him food and a file from the forge. Stealing the file and the food produces agonies of guilt in Pip. Dickens describes this guilt by making the environment in which Pip has to run through dark, misty, shady and mysterious. In his words, “the mist was heavier yet when I got upon the marshes, so that instead of my running at everything, everything seemed to run at me. This was very disagreeable to a guilty mind”. This incident in Pip’s youth stays with him throughout the rest of the novel in his unconscious; “he associates guilt not with particular events, but with a general unease which he has felt as long as he can…show more content…
The lawyer, Jagger, is the overseer of Pip’s new fortune in place of the unknown benefactor. Jagger is connected with guilt as well. He is a lawyer who works with guilty criminals on a daily basis. He is an overbearing man who “dominates by the strength of his knowledge the world of guilt and sin – called Little Britain – of which his office is center.” Jagger brings Pip from one guilty environment into another. In place of the Hulks is Newgate Prison which looms over Little Britain just like the Hulks loom over the marshes. Jagger’s works with criminals that are detained in Newgate Prison on a daily basis. At the end of the day, he obsessively washes his hands, suggesting the attempt to wash the dirt and grime of his clients’ guilt off of his

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