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Word Count: 681
What is a Gentleman What is a gentleman It is a question that has been discussed exhaustively throughout time by men and women alike Charles Dickens attempts to answer this question in the novel Great Expectations In this book he portrays two characters Pip and Joe as two different views of a gentleman Pip represents 19th century societys view of a gentleman while Joe is Dickens depiction of what he thinks a gentleman is The two are contrasting views however through my personal experiences I believe Joe Dickens portrayal of what he thinks a gentleman is truly captures the essence of what a gentleman is 19th century society believed that a gentleman was determined by his wealth job and status In Great Expectations Pip represents this view of the gentleman Throughout the novel Pip looks to achieve great expectations and in turn become a gentleman or respected man and thus win the respect and heart of the woman he loves Estella These great expectations were to gain status achieve riches and be successful These three things were what Pip and 19th century society believed to be important in life However in order to show the 19th century reader that these aspects are not what make a gentleman Dickens sets Pip up for failure While he does achieve these things Pip comes to realize after again being rejected by Estella that a gentleman is not based solely on these characteristics His epiphany is complete when he finally sees Joe his brother-in-law as the man he wants to be--a true gentleman Joe represents Dickenss view of a gentleman In the 19th century a man of Joes poor and homely status would not have been looked fondly upon and he would definitely not be classified as a distinguished man However Joe accurately portrays the moral fortitude and characteristics that are necessary to be a gentleman He consistently acts compassionately and in benefit in those he loves Even
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