Posted at 10.28.2018
The novel, Great Expectations, handles the concepts of your 'true gentleman'; where the Victorian idea, which is situated upon birth, wealth, social status and garments, contrasts to Dickens' portrayal of the gentleman who is a person of kindness, humility and generosity. Dickens upbringing and early life allows him to understand the position of the indegent because of their humble upbringing, which will keep them in the low social class. His didactic meaning, what it is to be a genuine gentleman, is strengthened by the bildungsroman style of the book.
In Victorian times, person who came from a wealthy and reputable family was regarded as a gentleman. That is clear in various characters in the book, who are immediately identified to be gentlemen as they boast a huge sum of money and dress in the finest clothes. One example, Compeyson, uses this to get a reduced sentence in court, as Magwitch says 'one, the younger, well brought up, who'll be spoke to as such'. This features the importance of social school in the Victorian era which is clear to see here that the justice system is very much indeed more favourable to the higher social rates, deciding how they might get treated and attended to, and that the punishment is not dependent on the crime, rather the individual at trial's qualifications and upbringing. Dickens has shown that the Victorian idea of a gentleman is all about wealth and communal position, not the characteristics we see in a gentleman today.
In addition to this, many of the people in the book show they also have the misconception that money makes a gentleman. Magwitch's touch upon Pip's return that he [Pip] has 'contracted expensive patterns' proves this and provides the impression that extra cash in such luxurious ways was normal and satisfactory in those times, then one that Pip cannot control. The shade Magwitch uses is also verging on pleased, in the sense that he's very pleased that Pip is able to afford to live a life such a comfortable lifestyle, without having to stress about financial issues. However, Pip might not have the ability to avoid this as he hasn't possessed the training of restraint that originates from having some money; only that of the indegent whereby if you have little money, you should spend it. Dickens performs on his lack of knowledge to portray the Victorian gentleman as being wealthy; however, this contrasts to his own gentleman of generosity and humility.
Appearance was of extreme significance and greatly affects the perception of the gentleman in Victorian times. Magwitch looks as a criminal at first, referred to as, 'A fearful man, all in coarse gray, with a great flat iron on his calf. . . who limped and shivered, and glared and growled. ' The terms Dickens has used such as 'coarse' is tough and amplifies the terror instigates by the bestial imagery of 'glared' and growled'. He is described with hardly any narrative perspective as the verbs are omitted from the first to phrases which underscores the disgust the Victorians would have sensed for him since his appearance is not worth a gentleman in their society. That is accentuated by the fact he is apparently area of the savage sea and marsh, springing up from its deep depths. However, Dickens also wrote that Magwitch 'limped and shivered' perhaps implying he only looks this way therefore of the life span and adversity he has already established to endure. Estella also mocks Pip for having 'thick boots' and 'coarse hands'. Again the utilization of tough words such as 'coarse' and 'thick', used to invoke terror, here imply a feeling of disgust that the Victorians noticed whilst looking down on Pip. After getting his inheritance, Pip then attempts to resolve his unwell appearance to seem as more of a gentleman. That one trip to Satis House completely changes the span of Pip's life and is where he latches on to the Victorian conception on a gentleman, strengthened by Magwitch who feels Pip is a gentleman after discovering his jewellery and apparel.
Throughout this book, Dickens challenges what realistically takes its gentleman. He is convinced that it is not the luxuries of an noble delivery and money that matter but rather how a person snacks his fellow man and whether or not they show humility. Compeyson is a 'gentleman' but is actually immoral and a criminal. He takes on on his gentlemanly appearance in court and was 'advised mercy on account of good personality and bad company' whilst Magwitch had to serve an extended word despite not being the brains behind the crime. Even in the time of Dickens, there was a justice for the wealthy and a justice for the indegent; society has rates and levels, in the same way a jail. This statement proposes favourability towards the bigger social rates as Magwitch, the 'bad company', is imprisoned whilst Compeyson can walk free as the courts assumed that the only real reason he committed the crime was because of the influence Magwitch got on him. Dickens seems to make the character types regarded as Victorian gentleman more good-looking in the book, whereas he makes those who he seems are 'true gentleman' less attractive, such as Magwitch who's in truth Pip's ample benefactor. He contests that to be a gentleman, you need to 'look' like one, it is extremely your actions and treatment of others making you a gentleman.
Due to his prosperity, Bentley Drummle is known as a gentleman; however, Dickens represents him as 'slow' and he's thought to 'always creep in-shore like some kind of amphibious creature. ' The use of 'sluggish' means that he's habitually idle, harsh and unattractive; surprising, considering he's a 'gentleman'. He's also referred to as an 'amphibious creature', which gives the impression he's cold blooded, rather vile and awful, not the characteristics expected of the 'true gentleman'. Dickens' overall disdain for Drummle and Compeyson is made clear through their hostile fatalities which can be both some sort of poetic justice for all the wrongdoing they have determined in their lifetimes. Compeyson drowns to his loss of life whilst trying to get Magwitch convicted further for his own crimes; and Drummle dies 'consequent on his ill-treatment of the horse'. This is very ironic as he exhibits brutish and abusive behaviour throughout the novel, and this is, ultimately, partly to be blamed for his loss of life.
Joe is a gentleman, the entire reverse of Drummle. He continued the family trade after being born into a straightforward blacksmith family and only has enough money to get by. Pip identifies him as a 'good-natured, sweet-tempered, easy-going, foolish, dear fellow-a type of Hercules in strength'. The usage of pathetic fallacy here reinforces the positive image Dickens has generated about Joe contrasting him to the strongest god in Greek mythology. Through this, he has gained his humility and a quality of a gentleman in Dickens' eyes. It really is through Joe that Dickens finally commences to show what he feels makes a gentleman. Pip also finally says he's 'looking up to Joe', implying he can be viewed as a gentleman as he transported the qualities of a true gentleman - someone to look up to and who have humility.
The fates of these two character types, Joe and Magwitch, are testament to Dickens' belief that to be a true gentleman it is essential to treat others effectively. Joe lives happily for the others of his life after marrying Biddy as Pip says, 'Dear Biddy, you have best man in the world'. Pip has evidently matured, agreeing to more responsibility for his sins, personal debt and life. He's frugal and writes to Joe and Biddy, not demonstrating his annoyed that Joe defeat him to marrying Biddy, alternatively alleviation that he didn't ask her the same. However, Magwitch dies at the end of the novel, although it is a much more peaceful fatality than Compeyson. It really is when Magwitch is on his deathbed, Pip realises that 'when he needed [his] place by Magwitch's part, [he] thought it was [his] place henceforth while he resided'. Dickens makes Magwitch's death peaceful and comfortable and the rest of Joe's life happy to replicate his judgment of a true gentleman, showing how they'll be cared for and 'rewarded' whilst Compeyson and Drummle go through ghastly departures due to their decadent character.
Dickens' didactic subject matter is shipped through Pip, through whom the reader learns how to become gentlemanly. As Pip is the first person narrator, the reader sees the experience through his eye, allowing him to describe why he made his decisions and highlight his problems, although they might not always trust what he says and will. When Pip being seeking to map himself to the Victorian gentleman, Dickens demonstrates the rapid tempo of his moral decline. To start with, Herbert is Pip's wardrobe friend; he attempts to present him to the etiquette and manners expected of a gentleman in London and Pip prices his judgment highly. However, as he plunges into his moral decrease, Pip starts 'disregarding Herbert's initiatives to check on [him]'. This is facts that, here, he cannot be considered a genuine gentleman, regarding to Dickens and our present day society, as he is acting as though he is superior to others, not treating them just how they cured him. This isn't a quality of the present day gentleman, but meets that of his contemporary society which Dickens contests.
Pip acted as gentleman in a way that he hoped would win over Estella; however, this leads him to provide goal to money and appearance, and to be ashamed of his simple, 'ungentlemanly' record and upbringing. Upon hearing Joe is to go to him he says, 'If I could keep him away by paying money, I certainly would have paid money. ' In his quest to get money to be all-powerful, Pip learns that he can't ever erase the 'shame' of his history, which is accentuates by the fact he desires to distance himself from Joe. In addition, it shows how much he prices money, and naively thinks that with it the guy can always get his way. This underscores the change in Pip who once 'seemed up to Joe' as a young boy, but is currently a cruel specific whose only matter is to become worthy enough to win over Estella, who says to him, 'Since your change of bundle of money and potential clients, you have altered you companions' to which Pip replied 'By natural means'. Here we can easily see he is fully trying to fill the Victorian ideal of your gentleman, as though the take action of preparing himself apart from Joe and Biddy, who he considers to be below him, is 'natural'. Although he might be a Victorian gentleman, he is not the gentleman who Dickens portrays, and through this Dickens suggests that to become a Victorian gentleman it's important to motivate away those who care about you most; the ones who will be there for you no subject your status.
Through the bildungsroman design of the novel and the retrospective narrator, Pip, Dickens displays his conceptions of what sort of true gentleman should act. When he's sick and taken in by Joe and Biddy near the end of the book, Pip realises his wrongdoings and says to them, 'get my humble thanks a lot for all you have done for me, and all I have so ill repaid. ' Pip has gradually understood that a section of his life has permanently closed and he'll no longer receive the treatment of an affluent gentleman, nor can he go to the manor and be based upon Jo and Biddy at his leisure like he once have. This is a significant second for Pip; time and bundle of money have modified his place; he starts out for the forge with the judgment he is already a adjusted man, nevertheless only when he responds to the improved around him does he truly display his more matured and better aspect. His selfless enjoyment for Joe and Biddy is the greatest proof of his growth. Viewing them as a married couple, he realises he needs to move on individually and he boldly declares he'll make money to pay Joe again, ample both spiritually and materialistically. Pip's personality has remarkably transformed from the self-absorbed child who sought self-improvement to the cost of other and it is here the Dickens discloses his perceptions of an gentleman through Pip's last humility: that it's not your cultural rank, wealth or background which makes you a gentleman, but instead your humility, kindness, generosity and treatment of others. His name, Pip, is indicative of his figure, a tiny seed or 'pip' growing psychologically and physically into the man he eventually became towards the finish of the novel; small and humble - a true gentleman and a great man in the eyes of Dickens.
In bottom line, Charles Dickens, a social critic of humble origins himself, has conveyed his conception of a true gentleman, which is such a good conception that it is commonly used in our population today. He shows that you can only be considered a true gentleman in mind and if you aren't it will be revealed. Matthew Pocket's metaphor that 'No varnish can hide the grain of the real wood; and that the more varnish you put on, a lot more the grain will point out itself' very effectively provides and summarises Dickens' subject matter, that no matter how much you make an effort to, your true identity will be revealed. It also effectively reinforces Dickens' treatment of the Victorian preconception of the gentleman as misconstrued and mistakenly engrossed with communal status, wealth, delivery, and outfits.