These two novels of Charles Dickes are the very epitome of the Bildungsroman as well as they epitomize the style of the Victorian Novel. The Great expextations was written in 1850 nearly ten years after David Copperfield which was written in 1860-1861.

fully grown Pip and David Copperfield or Charles Dickens.

Although it seems to have passed many years between them but the links which tied the protagonists to each other are so close than it has ever been before in any two different novels. In this paper I will try to clarify this correspondence between the characters of both novels mostly in relation to his own life of Charles Dickens as it can be clearly understood from the title of my writing.

To be honest when I had first read Great Expectations with quick-sighted reading it was a complete letdown for me who can not have yet a concrete understanding of the world of a mature life until the time came up in which you can become fully grown by all means like Pip and David Copperfield or Charles Dickens. The subject matter on both novels today still sustains its significance over all on-going debates as an ever-lasting problem which can be handled with the impacts of a changing society at the age of globilization or at the victorian era or epoch of something else in a forseeable future of course likewise this list can be enlarge but with the problem what remains always unanswered which is questioning the terrible states of a child among these changes what usually represents the majority in a adult world. I think that explains perfectly why and how Charles Dickens need to rework upon David Copperfield by creating Pip. On this paper although I will not analysizes these social aspects but I will try to present how David Copperfield is being recreated in Great Expectaction by appealing to the characteristics of a Bildungsroman.


These fragments below cited from first chapters of both novel Pip and David Copperfield who externalize how they feel as a child at the very beginning of the novel.
I give Pirrip as my father’s family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister,–Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were like were unreasonably derived from their tombstones from Great Expectations
“My father’s eyes had closed upon the light of this world six months, when mine opened on it. There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white grave-stone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable compassion I used to feel for it lying out alone there in the dark night, when our little parlour was warm and bright with fire and candle, and the doors of our house were–almost cruelly, it seemed to me sometimes–bolted and locked against it.” From David Copperfield
The first striking phisical elements on both fragments are the the phantom of father and  tombstons in the cemetery which are ready in service to create a misserable atmosphore. And another similiar element is the churcyard. In David Copperfield the churcyard can be seen openly as miserable rememberance however in Great expectation the churchyard enters into the scene not only with its gloomy picture but also become a place where will change Pip’s life also is used as a predominant symbol in every part of Pip’s life in which Pip is reproaching his individual identy.
Then now it is time to employ the bildungsroman. In the style of bildungsroman, protagonist is depicted through a process of self-improvement from a particular period of adolescence to the full maturiy in terms of both moral and other social changes including the events with he will go through. The process of maturty encompasses usually long and tempestuous relationships and ultimately the pratogonist comes to conculusion towards the demise of the novel with an understanding of his new social position in society.

When we scrutinize the early life of Charles Dickens, his father, John Dickens with a suquence of failures in his business and private life eventually put his family in dire financial strait and after a while he was imprisosened and by extention all the prospects in young Dickens’s heart who any child can dream suddenly collapsed. After this incident he worked at The blacking-warehouse by his mother’s decision. This period of adolescence full of frustrations was unforgetteable for Charles Dickens as he faced with every hardships of the working class although it took only a few months until Jonh Dickens’ groundmother died and left him her inheritance and thus he was released. But of course it did not make sense to young Charles Dickens. Appeareantly that was enough for him to use these new experiences as a focus point of his many novels. All these rigours of his youth attached to the novels likewise in David Copperfield and and Great Expectations.

Now then lets handle the narrations in order to find an answer for the question is “what may have prompted him to rework on this pratogonist whose historical context mostly bases on his own life and is resulted by the recreation of David Copperfield on the Great Expextations as “Pip” Lets remember firstly the similiarities. Both novels start with a concrete sense of deprivation of parents and as a child David and Pip experience a long-suffering period. On both novels the final consummation comes with a suquence of failures after the divorces of couples. There are many analogies which can be drawn between the characters. But somewhat these analogies have an inverse relationship between them For example; one of them can be drawn between Estalla and David Copperfield. In an other term it will be more proper to use the word “substitute” maybe. Estalla may be substituted for Agne and David Copperfield may be subsituted for Pip by taking the opposite roles in the same context of story. In this way we can reach the same structure on which only a simple substitution was made by the Charles Dickens in service to the same purpose.

Another analogy this time we can draw between Joe Gargery and Edward Murdstone. Both characters substituted for the figure of step father in the absence of real fathers. And again they are employed by desing of Charles Dickens in taking opposite roles in the same context. For example While Mr. Joe is always trying to compensate the lack of communication between Pip and his sister Mrs. Joe by telling strories about his own father and mother; on the contrary Edward Murdstone always try to make mischief between David Copperfield and his mother, Clara Copperfield. In this substitution, another striking parallel process is the death of the female figures which will reinforce the homelessness state since a home can never be complete and true home without a mother or femine affection on the life of a child.


Now I will try to compare the point of views on the narrations. The point of view in the Great Expectations and David Copperfield is the first person and the narrator is the auto diegetic narrator but with an important distinction. Because in David Copperfield we have two narration by extention we should have to narrator normally but we do not have two narrator but in fact it can be assumed that we have two writers as David Copperfield and Charles Dickens. It sounds like riddle since David Copperfiel doesnt become only narrator but also becomes both a writer and a protagonist of the novel. This implication of the complexity remains the many question unanswered about the pratogonist. In order to grip the problem lets examine the fragment from chapter 2 which tells a dialogue between Peggotty and David.
“’But if you marry a person, and the person dies, why then you may marry
another person, mayn’t you, Peggotty?’
‘YOU MAY,’ says Peggotty, ‘if you choose, my dear. That’s a matter of opinion.’ 
‘But what is your opinion, Peggotty?’ said I.
I asked her, and looked curiously at her, because she looked so
curiously at me.
‘My opinion is,’ said Peggotty, taking her eyes from me, after a little
indecision and going on with her work, ‘that I never was married myself,
Master Davy, and that I don’t expect to be. That’s all I know about the
‘You an’t cross, I suppose, Peggotty, are you?’ said I, after sitting
quiet for a minute.
I really thought she was, she had been so short with me; but I was quite
As it is seen in the last sentence the crucial comment and understanding accours at the moment of manscrubing, writing. It means that self-improvement and understanding comes from only present time in which the writer, David Copperfiel tries to write his memories in retrospect. So we can answer exactly to those questions; when is where is and to which extent is the pratogonist having the process of self-improvement.
Now the fragment what I will give you is more striking because Agnes and David Copperfield are so close to marry and the story is about to finish. David Copperfield says to Agnes; 
“You will always be my solace and resource, as you have always been. Until I die, my dearest sister, I shall see you always before me, pointing upward!”
Now thus we have a different problem with this statement and more seriously that is one.
Because in order to discount the gravity of the first problem we had a still chance to solve it by assuming that the correct answers comes from the present moment which David Copperfield wrote. But the new problem is that now this statement is said by David Copperfield who is at the very soon going to marry Agnes. Therein lies the problem and maybe who can know also therein lies the reason what causes to be reworked with David Copperfield on Great Expectations. 
Ultimately we may come to a conclusion which indicates the lack of subjectivity on the point of view from an angle of narrator what is resulted by an outstanding ambiguity on moral developments. Maybe at the very beginning of the Great Expectation, the cermons which is given to Pip by Mr.Joe who try to find justifications to the unfair treatments can be regarded as a transition hint between two novels. I am finishing my paper two short fragrment, leaving the final verdict to you.
David Copperfield chapter 62; David says;
“The year came round to Christmas-time, and I had been at home above
Great Expectations chapter 2; Pip says
“It was Christmas Eve, and I had to stir the pudding for next day, with a copper-stick, from seven to eight by the Dutch clock.”

You may also like

yorum bırak

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.