Great Expectations Essay

Great Expectations Essay

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In Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations, the main character named Pip suffers through a conflict of confusing good and bad people. He repeatedly disregards the people that love and care for him and instead chooses to care for people who do not care for him. When making these choices, Pip senses that he is making the wrong decisions and therefore confuses good and bad and also confuses himself.
After Pip first meets Estella, he begins to dislike everything he has ever known. He is uncomfortable feeling common in front of Estella and takes out his frustration on Joe, the one who brought him up to be common. “I determined to ask Joe why he had ever taught me to call those picture-cards, Jacks, which ought to be called knaves. I wished Joe had been rather more genteelly brought up, and then I should have been so too” (65). Here, Pip begins to look down on Joe even though Joe has only done the best that he could. Still, Joe continues to be kind to Pip even when Pip makes mistakes. He is not the only one that Pip hurts though. Biddy is another person Pip disrespects. At first Pip is too blinded by his love for Estella to notice that Biddy truly cares for him, and by the time he realizes it, it is too late. Pip confides all his secrets in Biddy and even tells her how unhappy he is with his common lifestyle. “’Biddy,’ said I, after binding her to secrecy, ‘I want to be a gentleman’” (127). Biddy tries to rationalize Pip’s thoughts so that he will see what is truly important, but he just cannot see past his desire for Estella. In this way, Pip is already ignoring Biddy and her great advice. When Pip receives his fortune from his secret benefactor, his disregard for the two people that love him the most becomes much worse. Before hi...


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... of why his common life and being with Biddy is much better than the alternative, Estella. However, after all those reasons come to him, the remembrances of Satis House and Estella rush back to him and he is thrown into a conflict between the two. The worst part of Pip’s conflict comes from the fact that even Estella warns him of her cruelty. She tells him how she has no heart to love and will never care for him (229). Still, it is not until the end of the novel that Pip realizes all of his mistakes and his conflict is somewhat resolved.
All in all, Pip messed up throughout the novel. He chose to ignore those that loved him and were good to him, viewing them as bad memories of his past, and instead sought after a heartless girl who could never love him. These inner and outer conflicts that Pip experiences from his decisions shape Charles Dickens’ classic novel.

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