Great Expectations: Pip’s Views of Expectations

Great Expectations – Discuss Pip’s views of expectations and how they

affect him.

The novel Great Expectations is focused around the theme of a young

male’s expectations and how they rule his life. It tells us the

effects they have on people and the negative impact they have on Pip’s

life. The Title to the novel “Great Expectations” totally contradicts

the main theme in the book, as the expectations turn out to be not so

great after all. The book is split up into 3 sections of Pip’s “Great

Expectations”, all of these sections show us how Pip’s life has been

affected by these expectations.

Throughout the novel we see how expectations have left their mark on

Pip’s life. Chapter one is were we are introduced to the main

character Pip. Our first impression of Pip is that he is naïve,

innocent and lonely young boy, the fact that Pip refers to his mother

as “Georgina, wife of the above” tells us that he has received no

guidance or teaching in his life and is unaware of his surroundings.

Pip is then dramatically changed by his expectations when Pip first

meets Mrs Havisham. He is introduced to a whole new view of life, and

realises he is not as happy as he thinks he is. Pip in a way blames

his upbringing as he says, “My sisters bringing up made me sensitive.”

When introduced to Estella Pip is infatuated by her and when she says

how “coarse” and “common” he is, he feels embarrassed and humiliated.

This is the turning point of Pip’s life, his blinding obsession with

Estella makes him determined to become the gentleman that she wants,

guided by his expectations.

Pip’s expectations are acted upon many different characters throughout

the novel, and nearly most of the time they have a negative effect on


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...y aren’t all

they what seem to be.

Overall throughout this book expectations play a big role, we see how

they rule Pip’s life and how they can affect others in many different

ways. We see how Pip’s life ends up in a good way and that how

expectations can blind others from reality. Money can change anybody

and Pip was no exception. When Pip is poor he truly wants to be a

gentlemen, he has great expectations for himself. Pip feels

embarrassed that his family has no money. Pips pride corrupts him and

blinds him from how he is treating Joe. Expectations are extremely

significant throughout this novel and they show us what they can do if

you are obsessed with them. In Victorian society it was an extremely

sought after dream to be wealthy and well respected, Pip was a victim

of this view and eventually realised that a gentleman is something

more than riches.
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