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Great Expectations - Character Analysis of Trabb's Boy

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Great Expectations - Character Analysis of Trabb's Boy

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  • May 24, 2005
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The Unlimited Miscreant - Trabb's Boy

"A boy who excited loathing in every respectable mind" (Dickens 304), Trabb's Boy is a lively, trouble seeking, and brutally honest character in Charles Dickens's, Great Expectations. Even though he appears only a handful of times in the novel his character plays a significant role. As Pip's enemy, Trabb's Boy helps the reader see Pip's faults. Trabb's Boy's most important role is that of Pip's rescuer.

Trabb's Boy has very few speaking parts, but an understanding of his personality is seen through his numerous actions. His personality is frank, vivacious, and mischievous. In the way Mr. Trabb speaks to Trabb's Boy in Chapter Nineteen, there is evidence that Trabb's Boy has caused trouble for him in the past. He calls Trabb's Boy a "young scoundrel" (186) and tells him not to pull any tricks (186). He is always looking for ways to cause "variety and excitement at anybody's expense" (534). Even though Trabb's Boy is named after the tailor, and has no real name; he is very independent. He is his own best friend, and only does things that interest or benefit him. "He was a boy whom no man could hurt; an invulnerable and dodging serpent who, when chased into a corner, flew out again between his captor's legs, scornfully yelping" (303). Trabb's Boy is not an evil person; he is just an innocent nuisance who wants excitement and to have fun.

Another aspect of Trabb's Boy is that he is a shrewd observer and is not bashful to express his opinion. As the "most audacious boy in all that countryside" (186), Trabb's Boy is not bashful of showing his contempt for Pip. He openly expresses his opinions because he doesn't care what others think of his behavior. Even when Trabb's Boy first meets Pip, he causes a commotion to "express equality with any blacksmith, alive or dead" (186). He believes that he is just as good as Pip, no matter how many new suits Pip buys. In Chapter Thirty, Trabb's Boy follows Pip through the town,...