From the many themes in great expectations the one that is the most important is the concept of the gentleman vs. the working man. This is portrayed a lot throughout the entire novel and is a very big issue. At the beginning of the novel Pip (the main character) .
is a low class average working person and he is always thinking about being a gentleman to impress the people he admired. He wants this because the one girl that he likes thinks that he is dirty and a very low person and Pip lets these remarks bring him down. So, throughout much of his younger years, Pip is always wishing that he could be a gentleman. And after a while this actually happens. Pip gets paid a lot of money to go to school in London from a secret benefactor. While in London he gets and learns the ways of a gentleman and gets a good education. But when Pip goes to London he leaves behind his father, ill mother, and his friend. And throughout the novel Pip often feels guilty for leaving them. Then later in the novel, after Pip has been in London he comes back to see them. But they all act differently around him now that he has become a gentleman. His father and his best friend both act very shy and timid of Pip. Pip does not like this and is upset about it. He just wants there relationships to be like they used to. But Pip does not realize how much he has changed. Pip is now very different form these two characters now. This shows the concept of the gentleman vs. the working man, the gentleman Pip and the working man, Joe (his father.).
The concept of the gentleman vs. the working man is portrayed in to day's society by not being as important. Today we rarely think of someone being a gentleman. Someone might call someone else a gentleman as a complement but people aren't usually considered gentlemen. Today a gentleman is referred to a person who has nice manners and is a good person. Working men can also be referred to gentlemen today.