Great Expectations

Biddy's Role in Great Expectations

Biddy is introduced early in Great Expectations and is mentioned regularly throughout, though she is not one of the major characters. She does, however, serve as a constant reminder to Pip of what he is leaving behind and, as she is more of a peer of Pips because of her intellect and age, she allows Pip an opportunity to articulate his thoughts more candidly and thoroughly at key points in the story. Dickens uses Biddy as a vehicle for many points made throughout the book and she largely represents the opposite of Estella and Pip in different ways. Biddy has a very aware tone when she is talking with Pip as though she understands and accepts all that will and has transpired (depending on which point of the novel is being examined) with an air of fatalism. Biddy is the sensible contrast to Pip’s immature idealism that is brought about by his infatuation with Estella and the upper class in general. Pip represents a very Romantic standpoint throughout much of the novel (until he comes to his ultimately Victorian realizations) and Biddy represents the pragmatic Victorianism. Ultimately, Dickens would not have been able to make as poignant of a point at the end of the novel if he did not have a character like Biddy—one who Pip...

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