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Word Count: 651
In Dickens novel Great Expectations the main theme running through the work deals with the maturing of individuals and the question of what being a gentleman consists of From his first encounter with Miss Havisham and more significantly the young Estella Pips main focus and goal is on improving his simplistic and rustic lower class lifestyle and his aims to become a gentleman He sees many errors in his common working class ways and is ashamed of them to the extent that he dreams to rid himself of his crude habits and raise himself in social class On the surface the book deals with a young working class boy who has been exposed to a higher class of living and strives to someday be as elegant and gentleman-like as people of that social class Dickens includes in the story several characters such as Herbert Pocket Mr Jaggers and Wemmick who Pip sees as true gentlemen men with class and dignity and a much better education background than himself On the surface Dickens is proposing to us an image of what a gentleman is The main things these men have in common is a higher social class as opposed to working class and proper education At the time the novel is set in you had to have these characteristics and many others to be a gentleman Upon examining Dickens writings a little closer I found that the underlying theme to the story was that it you have to look deeper than just the surface to find what characteristics in a person are gentleman-like and who a gentleman is Dickens presents for us the realism that it isnt necessary to speak as an upper class person of the time did to dress in expensive elegant clothes or to have a middle to upper class background to actually be a gentleman Rather Dickens gives us the
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