Trace the moral development of Pip and discuss what "Great Expectations" reveals about the true nature of a gentleman.

Essay by mini-keyboard0203A-, January 2006

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Pip, the young orphan boy from the forge was soon to become a young gentleman of great expectations. With a series of unpredictable events, unforeseen emotions, and a great deal of moral development we learn what it took for this young boy to learn how to be what he had always dreamed of becoming- a true gentleman.

Never knowing who his parents were or what his true identity was we learn from the start that Pip has an ongoing voyage of self discovery. He started life as a blank canvas along with his identity.

It is strange that this young boy should have such an astonishing course of events throughout his whole life. It makes us as readers wonder on to how and why things went the way they did. The plot involves many coincidences that bring people together from different social classes, the point of this being to show the readers of the time of Charles Dickens that money and social status do not denote moral virtue and that we as humans are all responsible for each other and not just for ourselves and those who are a benefit to us.

Pip as a young boy is very wary of his surroundings. It comes across to us that he is very innocent and vulnerable, for example in the first chapter in his introduction we see that Pip is almost like a blank canvas, as he does simple things such as imagining his parents as "derived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father's tombstone, gave an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair". This gives us the impression that he will take anything to heart and that he is easy impression. He gets very shaken up by the...