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Pip's Development Through Character Interactions

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Throughout Dickens’ novel Great Expectations, the character, personality, and social beliefs of Pip undergo complete transformations as he interacts with an ever-changing pool of characters presented in the book. Pip’s moral values remain more or less constant at the beginning and the end; however, it is evident that in the time between, the years of his maturation and coming of adulthood, he is fledgling to find his place in society. Although Pip is influenced by many characters throughout the novel, his two most influential role models are: Estella, the object of Miss Havisham’s revenge against men, and Magwitch, the benevolent convict. Exposing himself to such diverse characters Pip has to learn to discern right from wrong and chose role models who are worthy of the title.

At the start of the novel, Pip is a poor uneducated orphan boy unaware of social classes, or even the existence of such things. As a result, he is content with what he has and who he knows. Moving on in life, he comes across new people from all spectrums of social classes, and his content turns to shame and greed, as he longs to be “better”. All of a sudden Pip becomes ashamed of both his family and his social class. As Pip begins to understand the true meaning of life, his childish attitude does however change. “Pip learns as he grows older, however, that having money and power and being of a higher social class is not necessarily better than having true friends that care about him - even if they are of a lower social class” (Bloom, “Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations” 236). As the aforementioned quote suggests, in the final stages of the story Pip’s mindset changes for the better and Pip is able to give up having the “money and the power” and focuses ...

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...o emerges in Pip and he is much better toward his family and those around him. It is clear that Pip's character grew more humane when around Magwitch, and not Estella.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. "Charles Dickens's Great Expectations." Google Books. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. .

Bloom, Harold. "Great Expectations - Charles Dickens." Google Books. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. .

Dickens, Charles, and Charlotte Mitchell. Great Expectations. London: Penguin, 2003. Print.

"The Library of Literary Criticism of ..." Google Books. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. .

"Seeing Double, Double Seeing: The Use of Doubles in Great Expectations." The Victorian Web: An Overview. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. .