Charles Dickens utilizes his life for inspiration for the protagonist Pip in his novel Great Expectations. They both struggle with their social standing. Dickens loved plays and theatre and therefore incorporated them into Pip’s life. Dickens died happy in the middle class and Pip died happy in the middle class. The connection Dickens makes with his life to Pip’s life is undeniable. If readers understand Dickens and his upbringing then readers can understand how and why he created Pip’s upbringing. Charles Dickens’ life, full of highs and lows, mirrors that of Pip’s life. Their lives began the same and ended the same. To understand the difficulty of Dickens’ childhood is to understand why his writing focuses on the English social structure. Dickens’ life revolved around social standing. He was born in the lower class but wasn’t miserable. After his father fell into tremendous debt he was forced into work at a young age. He had to work his way to a higher social standing. Because of Dicken’s constant fighting of class the English social structure is buried beneath the surface in nearly all of his writings. In Great Expectations Pip’s life mirrors Dickens’ in the start of low class and the rise to a comfortable life. Fortunately for Dickens, he does not fall again as Pip does. However, Pip and Dickens both end up in a stable social standing.
Charles Dickens, born February 7th, 1812 in Portsmouth, England was one of eight children. He was unfortunately born into a low social class and in the English society that often meant you were the rag dolls for the rest of the country. Although his father didn’t solicit an abundance of money he spent it as if he did. They lived entertaining lives but as a result of their frequent spending they slowly fell into a great debt. Dickens was receiving an education at
school but because of the tremendous debt he was forced to work in Marshalsea in London, Southwark. He was only twelve years old when his schooling stopped and the working began. He was working under harsh conditions unfit for a child. Three years of working and he was finally able to return to school (“Charles Dickens”).
Dickens didn’t stay in school long. The next year he was working as a court reporter at the age of 16. He soon became tired of this and so he quiet his job and joined the staff for a newspaper, “A Mirror of Parliament.” Most of his articles were centered around the English social structure. Being forced to work in such harsh conditions made him less tolerable of how difficult it is to rise from being low class. As a get away Dickens began experimenting with acting and stage managing. He was known for acting out characters that he was writing for. He would stand in front of mirrors and do as he thought the characters would do.
Dickens connections with magazines and newspapers allowed him to publish some of his own thoughts and fiction novels. Tired of politics Dickens wrote True Sun, a social reform paper, again expressing his...