In this literary study, the theme of identity will be examined in a character analysis of Pip in "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens. In the novel, Pip is a young man who is the narrator and the main character used to define identity. Pip is a confused character constantly seeking his own identity, but he can never seem to understand who he is or where he is going in life. At times, Pip is uncertain of neither his own identity nor what he wants out of life. The different stages of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood are important factors in this story. Growing from a young boy into adulthood, Pip develops into an adult who is more understanding of others and develops his own identity.
In the beginning of "Great Expectations", Pip is an orphan boy being raised by his sister and her husband. Pip is unsure of his own identity, yet he is proud and boastful of his own class status in the English society. Pip is far from mature in the way he views his friends. His arrogance about his social standing helps to convince the reader that he has much to learn about people and what is really important in life. Pip must learn that there are good and bad virtues regardless of whom the person may be. Dickens' narrative is written about his own childhood upbringing and how it has affected his life. Pip struggles with being honest about himself and he is confused about who he is. During this segment of the story, Pip is unsure of his own identity. However, as he grows older and learns through experience, he begins to understand his own identity. The name "Pip" is only a distant reflection of who this character might emulate, since his name is really Philip Pirrip. "My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip" (Dickens). Pip, at this age in the story, does not want to admit that he comes from a middle or lower class...
Cited: Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. 2005. Online Literature Library. 4 Dec. 2005 .
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