Charles Dickens ' The Graveyard On Christmas Eve Essay

1001 Words Aug 14th, 2015 5 Pages
Joseph Gold explains that Pip’s first awareness of “the identity of things” in the graveyard on Christmas Eve is an outstanding English illustration “of the most ancient questions, ‘who am I?’ and ‘why am I here?’” (242). In Pip’s search for a meaningful identity, Dickens has incorporated the desire of all humanity to understand its existence and find a place in the world. Because Dickens allows Pip’s story to be narrated by an older, and wiser Pip, Gold states that Pip becomes the person he is as a result of telling his story, for in order to recount the history of his life, Pip is forced to come to terms with his past (244). Pip’s past does not make him who he is, but is a significantly influential factor. Acknowledging his past mistakes and delusions aids Pip in forming a more coherent and realistic identity. The only identity aspect that Pip really inherits at the beginning of his story, from his family, is the degradation by his abusive older sister. Like Cinderella and Snow White, Pip faces many instances of dehumanizing emotional abuse while growing up. When unjustly harangued by Mrs. Joe, Pip remains polite as he asks about the prison ships: “‘Mrs. Joe. . . I should like to know—if you wouldn’t much mind—where the firing comes from’” (Dickens 12). Mrs. Joe eventually responds by implying that little boys who ask too many questions will end up in those same prison ships. During Christmas dinner with Mrs. Joe’s friends and relatives, Pip is forbidden to talk. He…

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