Great Expectations

Pip's Rejection of the Sacred Domesticity

Great Expectations is a novel which, in its first part, focuses largely on the education and upbringing of a young boy, Pip. Orphaned at a young age, he is raised "by hand" by his older sister and her husband, a blacksmith. Written from the adult Pip's point of view, the novel describes his limited education at the hands of Wopsle's aunt, as well as his apprenticeship in Joe's forge. His moral education is left to his sister, whose main teaching is that Pip should have never been born to plague her life with worry, and a few lines of the Catechism, whose message of "walk the same in all the days of your life" Pip follows religiously by taking the same route home every day. In all his education one aspect is noticeably absent: the indoctrination of a spiritual code or set of beliefs. Indeed throughout the novel, Pip seems unaware of any higher purpose to his actions and circumstances, and most of the philosophical thought in the narrative comes from Pip the Narrator, writing from a later time. Because of this distinct absence, the first mention of something having a spiritual significance is important. To Pip this is not a teaching of the Church, but rather his own domestic space. To embrace this...

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