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The Tale of Philip Pirrip
on 20 March 2016
First starting its serialisation in late 1860 this story was praised by critics and has remained quite popular ever since. Ultimately a bildungsroman this tale is narrated in the first person by Philip Pirrip, or as he is most commonly known as, Pip. From an encounter in his childhood with an escaped convict, Magwitch it has to be noted that Pip’s formative years are quite full of incident. As Pip starts growing up it looks like his life of becoming a blacksmith, apprenticed to Joe his brother in law will suddenly not come about as he is taken to meet Miss Havisham and then learns of certain expectations.
For Pip it is obvious that his expectations will come from Miss Havisham, but is that really so? As he falls in love with Miss Havisham’s ward Estella what will the outcome be, especially considering who has brought her up and influenced her throughout her life? With a story such as this I think that most people are aware of the basic plot even if they have never read this due to the number of films and TV dramas based on this. Taking in expectations of wealth and how money can change people, we also have vengeance, love, crime and the story of how Pip grows to become a gentleman. There is quite some humour here despite the main plot of this tale and some rather wry caricatures. With Jaggers the lawyer, Miss Havisham and Compeyson, whose actions resound throughout this we have been given some of the most memorable characters that Dickens wrote.
Always a great read it is interesting how Dickens shows how a lot of these characters have lives that due to one event or another criss cross each other. Dickens did have some trouble writing this as he made revisions and only really at the last moment decided on the ending, as he had two already written out.