Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations Essay

Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations Essay

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Marcus Aurelius once said, "A man 's worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions." It is human nature to desire the approval from the outside world. However, like Aurelius said, ambitions don 't define a person. Throughout Charles Dickens ' novel Great Expectations, Pip 's character integrates ambition to become someone he is not and results in disappointment and sadness. When Pip does not receive a satisfactory outcome, he is quick to blame others rather than his own physiological desires.

First, Pip is ambitious to become a gentleman in order to be worthy of Estella 's love. Pip is a young boy and is being raised by his sister. When his sister, Mrs. Joe, forces him to go to a stranger’s house he does not ask questions. Pip 's first occurrence with people of the upper class is demeaning and confusing. Dickens writes, “She won the game, and I dealt. I misdealt, as was only natural, when I knew she was lying in wait for me to do wrong; and she denounced me for a stupid, clumsy labouring-boy" (101). In this passage, Dickens creates a mood of disgust. Pip has just been told that he is "a stupid, clumsy labouring-boy" by Estella who is being brought up in the upper class. Since Pip is uneducated he immediately believes what is said to him. The negative connotation of the word "denounced" concludes that Pip cares what Estella thinks of him. From this point on, he is self-conscious and embarrassed of his past. When Pip is given the opportunity to become a gentleman and study abroad he instantly jumps on it. He receives his "great expectations" and hopes to become good enough for Estella. Pip thinks to himself, “Estella was the inspiration of it, and the heart of it, of course. But though she had taken such strong possession of...


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...more acquainted with the higher society and highly educated he is confident he can win over Estella. However, Pip is too ignorant to see that Estella has never loved him and just messed with his emotions for pure amusement. Pip’s arrogance also led him to cut ties between his only family he had once loved so much. Dicken’s teaches readers with this novel that ambitions can be a dangerous thing if one were to get too caught up in them. Some ambitions can lead someone into doing unimaginable actions. In this world, people selfishly desire anything that they can benefit from, and in the process disregard the effects of their actions. On the other hand, ambitions can lead one to doing unimaginable things such as: curing diseases or as simple as being kind to people. In conclusion, people get to choose their ambitions and what they stand for, hopefully for the better.

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