Satis House

Categories: House And Home

Great Expectations’ is the story about a low, working class boy who, as he grows, is said to achieve great things in life. He changes from being a common boy to a rich gentlemen through the help of his secret benefactor. The novel covers a variety of themes such as: Love, desire, autobiography, ancestry, education and social conditions. The novel also conforms to the idea of a bildungsroman but it is Dickens writing in the life of Pip.

In the novel, Dickens also explores different of Victorian England such as how only rich kids were educated.

The working class children only attended a Sunday school if not any. Even though Dickens has written Great Expectations he still keeps it in the form of a Bildungsroman as Pip is the narrator of his own story. This affects the reader because we read the story through Pip’s point of view and we learn about his feelings and thoughts. The reader learns from chapter 1 that Pip is an orphan who is living with his sister and her husband.

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Pip’s portrayed as a timid and diminutive child.

When we first meet Pip in the graveyard, the atmosphere is “bleak” and “the wind is rushing”. When Pip meets the convict in the graveyard he “pleads in terror” and says “O! Don’t cut my throat, sir”. This evokes that he’s respectful to his elders as he addresses the convict as “sir”. However, this also suggests that at that present age he has no knowledge or understanding of the Victorian class or Penal System.

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Pip is made to seem as a pathetic and vulnerable character when we first meet him because he’s portrayed as a weak and feeble child.

He’s intimidated by everyone and doesn’t speak up for himself. The reader also learns that Pip is obedient as he agrees to get the items the convict asks for even though he knows he’ll be stealing from his sister. However, this may be because he’s scared but on the contrary he still seems like an obedient child. His behaviour and attitude changes through the story, alongside his identity. As his identity changes his personality does too. He changes from being obedient to disrespectful. “Home had never been a very pleasant place to me, because of my sister’s temper.

” This gives the impression that Pip was scared of staying at home and also that his sister treated him badly. This is partly true because “he often served as a connubial missile” and was also hit with a cane called “Tickler”. This supports my statement and suggests that Pip often got beatings. Pip is quite close to Mr Joe Gargery, his sister’s husband, they are great friends. He sticks up for Pip and looks after him quiet well, they have a good relationship. This is only during the first part of the novel, when Pip is young.

As he grows older, his relationship with Joe distances. Dickens uses setting to convey his character’s feelings and mood. At the beginning of chapter 3 we read about Pip when he’s going to give the convict food and a wittle. He walks through the “bare hedges” and “empty grass”. This creates an atmosphere of emptiness and evokes that nothing around the area is used and everything is just lying around untouched. Also Pip walks through the “marsh mist” which is “so thick” which creates an eerie and tense atmosphere.

This would reflect that Pip is feeling scared and lonely and it also makes us think that something sinister is bound to happen. We learn that Pip is afraid as he thinks that a “wooden figure” looks like a “phantom devoting him to the hulks. ” This also gives about a ghostly feel to the place. Dickens’ description of the setting helps the audience to understand how Pip’s feeling and the mood that is being created. Dickens uses descriptive language and words to emphasise the atmosphere. He uses sophisticated vocabulary to express Pip’s feelings and to portray the spookiness of the place.

When Pip is in Satis House, he’s of complete contrast to Estella and Miss Havisham. His low class is established through the way he looks and talks compared with Miss Havisham and Estella. The difference in their classes can be told clearly. Pip is a lower class from Estella and Miss Havisham altogether. When he visits them in Satis House he becomes aware of the difference between them and his low class is established to the reader and reinforced when he visits Satis House. He is out of place, not just from Estella and Miss Havisham, from the furniture and the entire house.

The class difference between them is revealed by the way Miss Havisham and Estella are dressed richly as opposed to Pip. Pip is filthy and grimy and is known as a common boy. Estella is portrayed as extremely pretty and Pip is attracted to her but he finds her “insulting”. The difference between them is also conveyed when Estella doesn’t call by his name, but instead calls him “boy”. This makes Pip feel degraded and also supports my statement about Estella being insulting. Until this point Pip wasn’t aware of his class and social standing in the hierarchy.

When pip realises he is working class he feels really upset and ashamed. He doesn’t want to be from a working class background; he wants to be the same as Estella and Miss Havisham. He partly doesn’t want to be from working class because he doesn’t like the way Estella criticises him because of his appearance and the class he is. He gets hurt because of the way she talks to him slightly spitefully and mockingly. From this point onwards, Pip greatly desires to change into a proper “gentleman”. Estella’s words and actions encourage Pip’s desire to change.

He wants to change his appearance, the way he talks, looks and acts. But most importantly; he wishes to change his identity. He no longer appreciates who he is and wants to become the type of man other people will approve of, even if he won’t be happy in his own heart. The first-person narration increases our understanding and sympathy for Pip because we understand how he’s feelings and what’s going through his mind; especially during awkward situations. We come across his wild imagination and his fears. It also helps us to especially understand Pip’s emotions when he goes through awkward circumstances.

First person narration also enhances our anticipation. Especially when we visit Satis House; first person narration increases slow terror and builds up tension and fascination. It also makes us sympathise with Pip as in Satis House, Estella is always picking on him and criticising him because of the differences of their classes. Estella mentions how Pip has “thick boots” and “coarse hands. ” This also makes us understand Pip’s desire to change, which is another aspect of the Bildungsroman. He has a desire to change because he wants to turn into a gentlemen; someone that Estella will approve of.

Pip, from this point, is dissatisfied with his life and wants to change. This is because he’s ashamed of his class as he’s grubby and doesn’t speak as a proper gentleman using correct words, such as; he calls “knaves” “jacks. ” He never knew he was just a common boy until his visit to Satis House. Pip doesn’t want to be a regular boy; he wants to be a proper gentleman. It’s almost as if he’s ashamed of his life and himself. When he’s with Miss Havisham, he especially feels the desire to change and is also embarrassed, even more; he wonders “how his character fails to be influenced by them?

” This suggests that he wonders how come he doesn’t become more like them, especially whilst he’s with them. This relates back to the fact that he’s longing to change his identity, no matter how he does it and through numerous people, he just doesn’t want to be they type of person he is currently. Since Pip’s visits to Satis House, his relationship with Joe gradually distanced. In my opinion, Pip was starting to feel embarrassed of Joe. “I am afraid I was ashamed of the dear good fellow – I know I was ashamed of him. ” This supports my statement that Pip was humiliated by Joe.

And, seeing as Estella always criticised him, taunted and laughed at him because of “who he was”; Pip wondered what she’d do if she met Joe. “When I saw that Estella stood at the back of Miss Havisham’s chair, and that her eyes laughed mischievously. ” This also tells us what Estella thought of Joe. In my opinion Joe, in Estella’s eyes is a complete childish fool. This is another reason why Pip wants to change his identity. He doesn’t only want to change his identity because of himself; he wants to change because of the people he’s with that show him up and make him feel even more ashamed.

In chapters 7 and 10 we can learn that not everyone was lucky enough to get a good education. From chapter 7 we learn that Pip was one of those who only attended a Sunday school and wasn’t properly educated. We learn this from the letter, he “contrived in an hour or two to print”, to Joe. There were a number of errors on the letter but Joe said to pip “what a scholar you are. ” this is because Joe couldn’t possibly write a letter and also can’t read or write because he got pulled out of his education so he was never educated.

From chapter 10 I can learn that if you really wanted an education, yourself, then you had to find your own way of getting it. I think this because Pip wanted to be able to become a scholar and learn to be a gentleman so he asked Biddy to help him learn to read and write properly. “It’s a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home. There may be black ingratitude in the thing, and the punishment may be retributive and well deserved; but, that it is a miserable thing, I can testify. ” This depicts that Pip was discontented with his home life and never enjoyed his life at home.

This conveys that Pip’s social conditions weren’t pleasant. This was yet another one of the many reasons why Pip had a desire to change his identity. He wanted to improve his lifestyle and the way he lived; he wanted to live a comfortable life. He doesn’t want to live in the same conditions he lived in when he was young; he wants to live in better social conditions where he is happy. To conclude, Pip’s identity changed from a working class boy to a rich and improved gentleman. He fulfilled his desires, by getting an education and improving his social conditions, all in trying to achieve his love; Estella.

He wanted to impress Estella and become the type of gentleman that Estella would fancy. Her criticism of him urged him, to change himself. At the start of “Great Expectations”, Dickens tries to focus the reader’s attention on Pip and make them feel sympathetic towards Pip. He introduces Pip as the kind of character you like and feel sorry for. I think Dickens does this so the reader’s opinion changes of Pip as he slowly changes and also so that the reader notices the drastic change in his identity. I think Dickens was quite successful in establishing the change in Pip’s character and identity.

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Satis House. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

Satis House

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