Great Expectations - The Individual and Society

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Characters and Their Relationship With Society in Great Expectations

  • Joe is seemingly out of place in Pip's life in London - demonstrates obvious class hierarchy which was ripe during Victorian Era (Dickens was writing during 1850s and 60s)
  • Pip wants more from society that he gets given at the start of the novel ("I want to be a gentleman")
  • Society appears to reject individual pursuits - it expects conformity. This is particularly prevalent with Pip's quest for Estella. Society expects someone of Estella's class (having been brought up by Miss Havisham) to marry for money - as she does with Drummle - and not for happiness…


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