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Great Expectations - Pip's view of home

Uploaded by Appleman on Jun 09, 2007

Pip’s view of home changes dramatically throughout the novel, as he grows and changes his general mindset. At the start of the novel, he is content where he is, he is vaguely happy because of Joe's sanctification of home, in spite of his sister’s brutality towards him. He has no experience of any other life, so this good to him. But as soon as he experiences life at Satis House he begins to feel ashamed of home, and as he gets older, he is ashamed of his own shame. He describes this shame as a “black ingratitude”, suggesting that he is not only ashamed of his home, but he is also ungrateful for all that Joe and Mrs Joe have done for him.

As he looks back, we are reminded of the naïve innocence through Dickens’ use of hyperbolic similes, “I had believed in the best parlour as a most elegant saloon”. This is a clearly a view of home from a child’s imagination. But as he recollects these memories, he remembers also that he would never allow the likes of Estella and Miss Havisham to see it. This once sanctified home whose kitchen was a chaste apartment was now just coarse and common. He now had the same self loathing for his home that he felt when Estella described his hands as coarse and common.

His views of the forge have changed also. At one time he was happy to be Joe’s apprentice, but as he grew older, the forge no longer looked like the glowing road to manhood that it once appeared to be. Now it was like a thick black curtain falling down on him. This simile shows us that he began to feel that the forge was oppressive. It was a barrier blocking him from moving on with his life. But this curtain soon becomes more real. It turns from a simile into a metaphor, making it a lot more real, as if it really is oppressing him.

He also says that he would have been Joe’s `prentice – not apprentice. He says it in Joe's dialect, mocking Joe. His resentment for his home appears to have affected the way he sees his family. In the past, he and Joe would have stuck up for each other if someone was to mock one of them, but now Pip is doing the mocking, leaving no one to defend Joe.


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Uploaded by:   Appleman

Date:   06/09/2007

Category:   Literature

Length:   2 pages (450 words)

Views:   3290

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