Great Expectations: A Character-Driven Novel
The novel, Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens is heavily a character-driven novel due to the fact that the sequence of events in the novel are causes and effects of the actions of the characters as well as the interactions between them. The novel mainly depicts the growth and development of an orphan named Pip, who is greatly influenced by the other characters and became a gentleman and a bachelor in the end of the novel through his encounters with the other characters. Pip, as the main character, definitely has a lasting impact on the drive of the novel since his decisions are very instrumental and effective towards the other characters as well as to himself. This phenomenon applies to not only Pip, but to the other characters, especially Estella, Miss Havisham, Joe, and Abel Magwitch. Everything a character does and every encounter between the characters in Great Expectation has an effect on the flow of the plot and situation of the novel. Before the very beginning of the novel, the conflict of the novel is already set in motion. Pip is an orphan at the start of the novel as his parents were long gone and he lives with his sister, Mrs. Joe, and her husband, Joe, the blacksmith. As a result of the two siblings and the older sibling’s husband living together without any parents, the family was relatively poor. Thus, in addition to Mrs. Joe’s strict attitude and the fact that his status is in the lower class, Pip had a rough childhood. The fact that Pip had a childhood full of hardship and is poor sets up for his later decision to become a gentleman through a secret benefactor. When Pip do decides to leave for a new life in London, he upsets Biddy and especially Joe as he recently became an apprentice of his; their life-long friendship falls apart. This is one of the major decisions Pip has to make and it changed the entire course of the plot as the setting of the story shifts from Pip’s first known home in Kent to...
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