Explore the way Dickens presents the character of Pip in Chapter 17 of Great Expectations.The chapter is entitled "Confiding in Biddy". Any help with this AS Level English Literature would be...

Explore the way Dickens presents the character of Pip in Chapter 17 of Great Expectations.

The chapter is entitled "Confiding in Biddy".

Any help with this AS Level English Literature would be greatly appriciated. Thank you.

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 17, Dickens portrays the character of Pip as being self-centered and egotistical.  He is completely presumptuous in his attitude towards Biddy as he confides in her about his feelings for Estelle and his dissatisfaction with his own station in life.  Pip admits that he has become "rather vain of his knowledge", and is surprised that Biddy seems to have learned as much as he has about the trade of blacksmithing.  He realizes that he has not been "sufficiently grateful" to her for all she has done for him in the past, and in choosing to "(patronize) her more...with (his) confidence", he almost seems to feel that he is doing Biddy a favor.

In telling Biddy how he is obsessed with Estelle even though Estelle does not think he is good enough for her, Pip's attitude towards Biddy is quite presumptuous.  He asks Biddy, "I should have been good enough for you, shouldn't I, Biddy", assuming that she would have wanted him if only he could find it within himself to love her, and never considering the possibility that she might not.  Pip is completely wrapped up in himself, and self-pityingly feels "vaguely convinced that (he) was very much ill-used by somebody, or by everybody".  He takes for granted the idea that Biddy shares his high opinion of himself, never considering that she might think otherwise (Chapter 17).

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Great Expectations

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