Discuss about Charles Dickens concept of Gentleman in Great Expectation.
Great Expectation is a great creation of Charles Dickens. Here, he has wanted to represent various aspects of life and the problems that antagonize us in everyday life. The author has drawn about the course of the natural character of love and after a series of faults it concluded into marriage.
Making Gentleman: If we observe the thoughts of the author and the various characters which are created and presented to us in various ways, surely we will arrive at this decision that the governing theme of the entire novel is the corrupting influence. Greed for money turns a man into a toady. Gradually he becomes too servile and changes his attitude towards other people almost overnight mainly depending upon the pecuniary gain or loss it is likely to generate. Dickens has brought out all the aspects of this universal trait in a remarkable manner and there lies the greatness of the book.
Negative Results of Growing Prosperity: Generally when a man becomes richer and richer he is sure to become more and more superior and degenerate. Natural affections are cast away into unconsciousness. The newly rich man has forgotten his old friends and well-wishers like our Pip who tries to keep distant from Joe. But at his immature age Joe had been kind and considerate to Pip, whereas his own sister neglected him.
Greed of Money: Greed of money drives the fellow into all sorts of criminal conspiracies only ending with his death. Here we observe that, by developing habits of extravagance Pocket runs into debts. Thus greed of money corrupts the simplicity of his life and annoys his peace with anxieties and doubts.
Pip and Dirty Wealth: When Pip was in humble surroundings at the forge of Joe, at that time he was an innocent boy. He liked the job of a blacksmith and wanted to be a learner to him. But his contact with Miss Havisham and the rudely proud Estella changes completely his character utterly. He becomes afraid that Estella would desire him for being humble and poor. She might not like the coarse work that he does at the forge.
Snobbery in Pip’s Mind: When Pip realizes that Estella might not like the coarse work that he does at the forge. She might frown at him. This feelings and inferiorities complex sows the seeds of snobbery in Pip’s mind.
the author has cleverly juxtaposed the twin emotions in human beings. first, the greed for an esdy comfortable life and second the lovefor the opposite sex.
Pip’s Aspiration for a Gentleman: When Pip thinks that if he wants to get Estella’s inspiration or favour he must be a gentleman. So he begins to aspire for the life of a gentleman and an easy comfortable life of plenty. The exceptional beauty of Estella stirs his passion and sensuous feelings. So, he begins or starts to crave for wealth and position for himself it only to seem more acceptable to Estella.
Corupting Influence of Money: When Pip is staying in London with ready money available for expenses as well as luxury, it corrupted him very much. At that time he receives a letter from Joe that proposes to visit Pip in London. But it makes Pip unhappy instead of pleasure. He does not experience pleasure. The actual visit of Joe makes Pip upset because Joe’s rustic manners and clumsiness were too much for this upset. Joe’s behavior was judged unreasonably by Pip with the city standards and standards in view.
Pip’s Snobbery: At the time of Pip’s becoming gentleman, once he visits to his native town. It’s natural he will stay at the house of Joe where he passed his childhood. But his snobbery and pride do not allow him to do so. He stays at an inn and even fails to visit Joe. According to his view, Joy’s family is a rustic and laborer family and now he is a gentleman. So, he should not go there.
Possession of Money without Sense of Concern: In this novel Dickens has shown those people who crave for the possession of money without having a correspondingly in our society. Money is a good servant but a very bad master. Knowledge, cultural advancement, educational progress etc. are directly the results of the proper use of money. Lack of adequate sense of responsibility compelled Pip to live in a world of make believe and self-deception. He pursued Estella although she was not worthy of such a devotion. He was compelled to live a troubled, restless, discontented life merely because he did not use money in proper manner.
According to the view of Dickens, empty show, false sense of values and misleading passions will be ever present when money finds a place in the pockets of an irresponsible person.