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Term paper on Great Expectations
“The communication [ at the start of Great Expectations to young Philip Pirrup, better known as Pip, is that he has ]…Great Expectations”(154). The principal characters new found hopes for the future in Charles Dicken’s nineteenth century novel revolves around his encounters with the London lawyer Jaggers. Ultimately, Jaggers will serve to bind together Pip’s relationships with such characters as Estella, his infatuation; Miss Havisham, Estella’s guardian; Joe, Pip’s loyal friend; and Abel Magwitch, his Benefactor. The story explores the ramifications of Pip’s chance encounter with a convict and the changes that will take place as a result of his future opportunities. Throughout Pip’s exploitation’s he undergoes a transformation from a sensitive young boy to a highly egotistical young man who eventually returns to being a kind and caring individual.

In the first part of the novel, pip exhibits his sensitivity to others through a number of encounters. For example, when Pip and Joe accompany the detachment of soldiers on the marsh to recapture the convicts, pip utters his true feelings to Joe. “I treasonably whispered to Joe, ‘I hope Joe we shan’t find them’” (41). Although in fear of encountering the convict a second time, Pip’s reluctance to see him captured comes from the heart. Furthermore, Pip’s kindness rises to the surface with his concern for Joe relative to his own running away. “It was not because (he) was faithful but because Joe was faithful, that (he) never ran away and went from sailor to soldier”(121). Pip does not wish to run away for he does not wish to hurt Joe. Ultimately, Pips good nature surfaces through his encounter with Herbert Pocket at Miss Havisham’s. Having knocked down young Herbert several times he states, “He seemed so brave and innocent that although I have not proposed the contest, I felt but a gloomy satisfaction in my victory” (103-104). Both young men at Miss Havisham’s on that day will soon find themselves changed.

The second part of the novel finds Pip about to begin his ”Great Expectations” where he will undergo a transformation of character from a sensitive person to a highly egotistical one. Initially when pip found out that Joe would be coming to visit he was reluctant to have him come. “if I could have kept him away by paying money, I certainly would have paid money” (237-238). Here Pip exhibits how egotistical he has become by saying how much he didn’t want Joe to arrive. Secondly, Pip shows his vainness by joining the Finches of Grove who spend their money carelessly. “We spent as much money as we could and got as little for it as people could make up their minds to give us”(296). This quote clearly shows how these people spent their money just to spend money. Furthermore, Pip exhibits his newfound change by wasting money to impress Joe. “I had made this monster (out of the refuse of my washerwoman’s family) and had clothed him with a blue coat, canary waistcoat…. I hope to find him a little to do and a great deal to eat; and with both of these horrible requirements he haunted my existence”(238). This quote clearly shows how much he wanted to impress Joe. Soon, for the second time, Pip will find himself changing back to how he use to be.

The third part of the novel finds Pip changing again, back to the way he use to be. Initially, Pip’s kindness rises to the surface when he professes his love to Estella. “I know. I have no hope that I shall ever call you mine, Estella. I am ignorant what may become of me very soon, how poor I may be or where I may go. Still, I love you. I have loved you ever since I first saw you in this house”(388). When Pip professes his love to Estella he shows exactly how sensitive he has become. For example, Pip shows his kindness towards Herbert when he knows he can’t continue to pay Herbert, but still wishes to and therefore asks Miss Havisham. “’If I give you the money for this purpose, will you keep my secret as you have kept your own’”(426)? Pip’s kindness was apparent when he asked Miss Havisham for money to continue his payments to Herbert Pocket. Finally, Pip’s thankfulness towards Provis shines through when he notices how much his benefactor has actually done. “His boast that he had made me a gentleman, and that he had come to see me support the character on his ample resources, was made for me quite as much as for himself”(365). This would be the final change that Pip would make throughout the book.

By the end of the novel there is no doubt that Pip had undergone transformations of character from a sensitive person, to an egotistical one, and back again to the kind Pip. This cycle resembles the real life change from teenagers to young adults. This novel gives a clear picture of the ignorant stage that some people go through. This book by Charles Dicken’s makes people look back and think of what we are like during that stage of life.
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Great Expectations. EssayMania.com. Retrieved on 11 Oct, 2010 from