Bildungsroman refers to a formational novel that entails the formative years of the main character especially, the moral education and psychological development. It tends to show the transformational lives of David and Pip from childhood to the point of complete formation. A protagonist does take the gradual changes so as to move from the young and less knowledgeable level to maturity level. In many instances, the main character is almost a child. Therefore, the reader follows the development of character formation as he /she acquires a better understanding of the world around.
The specific levels of character development involve the following: the first stage that entails the protagonist experiencing an event that does set him/her on a journey. This mostly means a great loss or even sense of unhappiness leading to separation from relatives or home. The second stage encompasses of the situation where the character is faced with the strict social order that one has to follow to the letter. The third stage is where the social order results to major conflicts by the character. In this case, there is the struggle between the individual needs and judgments reached by this strict social order. The fourth stage is the final stage of character development; it involves the point where the character learns how to interact with the society entirely. On reaching this point, the character evaluates the new place he/she has in the society. At the end of this gradual process, the character has committed some mistakes that resulted to disappointments, but later on, moves on leaving the failures behind.
In the novel, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the protagonist character by the name Pip undergoes various development stages that enable him to reach maturity. Pip is the focal character in this context. The whole story revolves around him. The various changes that Pip undergoes create a significant connection with readers. At the age of seven years, Pip comes across convicts that even force him to steal food and a metal file for them. Later on, his Uncle Pumblechook arranges for him to go to Miss Havisham. This is the first stage that leads to Pip’s separation from his family. Her sister is abusive, and the opportunity to go to Miss Havisham’s enables him to move away from the place. In the second development stage, Pip goes through difficult emotional times at Miss Havisham’s, despite this entire he continues to visit the place. The third stage is where Pip encounters conflict between his personal needs and the judgments made by the strict social order. He is obsessive and ambitious .his quest to achieve his desires leads him to be ready to give up everything. For instance, he yearns to get money and Estella at all costs. However, things do not work out well as he does not get to marry Estella at first and he strains a lot to get money. This is because of the social order constraints that prevail in the society he lives in.
At last, Pip achieves maturity on reaching the fourth stage of the character development. The choices he has made in the entire novel leads to him learning a different lesson at the end part .he learns that nothing comes for free, that wealth is not an assurance freedom from consequences .at he the end of everything he was to take responsibility for his choices. In the text, Piphas already accepted his mistakes, debts, and life. Therefore, remembers to pay his debts .this shows that he is mature now. Instead of getting upset that Joe married Biddy, he feels relief that he never mentioned his wish to do the same.” My first thought was one of great thankfulness that I had never breathed this last baffled hope to Joe” Dickens (p.517)
Dickens Charles, Great Expectations. Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1881. Print.