Pip in Dickens' Great Expectations

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Pip in Dickens' Great Expectations

During the book 'Great Expectations' there are many characters that
influence pips decisions. In my essay I will try and point out who
does what to influence pips decisions and eventually try and find out
which character was most influential. There are several characters
which much be considered whilst deciding who was most influential.

Mrs Havasham was probably the most influential character because it
was because it was her who first planted the seeds of discontent in
pips mind. It was because of her that pip met Estella. Mrs Havasham
made Pip uneasy about his life and made him dislike his social class.
She kept asking him questions about Estella such as 'what do you think
of her?' this made pip embarrassed to tell her as Estella was
listening, further more after every answer Pip gave to this question
Miss Havasham kept adding 'anything else' which we later found out in
the book, mrs havasham was trying to make pip like Estella lots so
that she could break his heart. We could tell this when Miss Havasham
said 'What leave now and never see her again even though she is so
pretty' she is trying to make Pip want her even more than he already
does so she can break his heart and the pain will be even worse. This
had a knock on effect towards Pip and in the end his wanted to do
everything he could to try and make Estella to like him for example
becoming a gentleman.

Miss Havashams adopted daughter Estella was probably the most
influential character in pips life there are many moments in the book
that suggest this. During Pips first visit to Miss Havashams house he
first met Estella he described her to Miss Havasham, he described her
as being, 'very proud', very pretty' and finally 'very insulting.'
Whilst at Miss Havasham's house Pip was made to play this didn't
please Miss Havasham so she invited Estella to play with Pip, Estella
made some comments whilst playing a game of cards, 'he calls the

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knaves jacks', and 'what course hands and thick boots' this made pip
feel very small, intimidated and embarrassed. Pip was also feeling
bitter about his up bringing, Pip was thinking that it was Joes fault
for telling Pip that they were jacks. He also felt very ashamed that
his boots were so thick because it shows Estella his social class and
that he was a poor working boy. Estella was always mean to Pip but he
didn't know any better because that was how his sister treated him.
Pips sister was very mean to Pip she beat him with a stick she called
the tickler, this was a very ironic name for her beating stick, also
Pips sister spoke down to Pip like he owed her something and always
uses the phrase 'I brought you up by hand', this was because Pips
mother and father had died. This had an effect on Pip because he
wanted to change who and what he was to please Estella so she wouldn't
make fun of him and might actually start to like him. He wanted to be
a gentleman ever since this moment and forget about his upbringing and
how his sister had treated him and how Joe had just been a common man.

Joe has a strong effect on Pip when he was growing up and when he was
older and made Pip realise something very important which I will
explain in this paragraph. As a young boy Joe was pips best friend and
when Pip became an apprentice he was apprentice to Joe. Joe taught him
a blacksmiths trade, however pip still wanted to become a gentleman
and please Estella. However Pip did become a gentleman and forgot
about his old ways as a blacksmith, and how he was brought up. When
Pip was a gentleman Joe went to see him, and made Pip feel embarrassed
in front of his posh friend. This made Pip feel that he wanted to
disown Joe, that he had finally forgot about everything in the past
and he was happy with his new life, but was he?

After some time pip went back to try and find Estella only to find out
that she was already married to his rival Bentley Drummel. He made up
his mind that he was going to ask his childhood friend Biddie to marry
him but, when he went to ask her Biddie said, 'this is the happiest
day of my life i'm finally getting married to Joe.' This made Pip
think about what a true gentleman was. He realised that it wasn't
money or social class that made a gentleman it was, just being nice
and kind to every one, having a family, trying hard, not being a snob
and grateful for what you have. This was perhaps the best lesson that
pip learnt in the book, he began to think that all the things he did
in his life were a waist of time because becoming a gentleman which he
thought would bring him every think left him with nothing.

Magwitch, an escaped convict had some effect on pip, but I do not
think he changed the way he felt about things, he only changed Pip
from being a common labour boy into a gentleman by giving him the
money. However without pip receiving his 'Great expectations' he would
not have been given the chance to change his social class and impress
Estella. Pip first meets the convict in the churchyard and is asked to
bring some food and something to get the chains off the convict's
legs.

To conclude my essay and after studying all the information that I
have found on the characters I feel that Estella has the most effect
on Pip because everything Pip does with his life revolves around
Estella, like pleasing her and trying to get her to like him. She was
the main reason for Pip wanting to become a gentleman and become
bitter towards Joe and Mrs Joe about the way they brought him up.
However after Pip went through his 'Great expectations' he came out of
it with nothing, Estella had already married, Biddie was getting
married to Joe and Pip was left with nobody. After all that Pip
finally realise what being a true gentleman was all about, he learnt
this by watching Joe and how he achieved this gentlemanly status. It
had nothing to do with money, cloths, jobs or even social rank; it was
all to do with how u conducted yourself in front of other people. So
in a way Joe had a large effect on Pip. I honestly think every
character had there own part to play:

Magwhich- them benefactor for Pips 'Great expectations;

Joe- for making Pip realise what a true gentleman was and being his
friend as a boy;

Estella- for making Pip love him, treating him cruelly and making him
want to become a gentleman so he could impress her;

Mr Havasham- For bringing Pip to the house and introducing Pip to
Estella, making Pip feel common and finally making Pip love Estella.

There is a few characters I haven't mentioned in my essay that might
have had a slight effect on pip, however I focused on the major
influences.


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