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Discuss the female characters in ''Great Expectations''. What influences do these characters have on Pip in his life? In the opening of the novel, Pip is a nave young boy who as been brought up in a traditional Victorian manner

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Introduction

Discuss the female characters in ''Great Expectations''. What influences do these characters have on Pip in his life? In the opening of the novel, Pip is a na�ve young boy who as been brought up in a traditional Victorian manner. He is a very innocent and kind-hearted boy who when asked brings the convict the file and food, here we also see that Pip is quite a gullible child as when threatened by the convict Abel Magwitch who says that he'll get a fellow convict to 'tear his heart and liver out while he sleeps' unless he does as the convict says, and Pip being an innocent and gullible young boy believes him and acquires for him these items. When Pip meets Estella his behaviour and attitude towards his current life changes, this is due no-doubt to Estella's continual name calling and putting down of Pip. She constantly calls him 'common' and other names which make him feel ashamed of his current quaint life-style with Joe at the forge; this shows what a large impact Estella has on him. It is at this stage that we see Pip begin to develop a snobbish side to his persona; he begins to become dissatisfied with his life at the forge and his apprenticeship to become a Blacksmith with Joe. However it is not until Pip discovers that he has come into a great fortune that he reveals the true snobbery of his character as he is quick to drop all of his former lower class friends and family so as they do not hold him back and embarrass him when he becomes a gentleman. He feels some pangs of guilt about this decision; however he thinks better of them and goes ahead with his decision anyway. Here we see his snobbery developing, as he now has elevated himself above his lower class former friends and family, just as Estella had looked down on him before. ...read more.

Middle

The fact that Miss Havisham invites Pip to her house to meet her adopted daughter so that she can put Estella to the test shows us the extent of her egocentric behaviour 'Well? You can break his heart'. However, over the time that Pip visits them Miss Havisham begins to grow fond of the boy who treats her with such politeness and respect, and she does not see any of the cruel heartless behaviour as that which she may see from many other men. So fond that she regrets what she has done to Estella as she realises that Pip is in love with her. The only reason why Miss Havisham has not been put into a mental institute is because of the fact that she is an incredibly rich woman, and people may have just called what she was going through the eccentricity of the rich. Miss Havisham seems to delight in some very strange things such as the way that Estella torments and puts Pip down, or by how she herself keeps her relatives guessing as to whom she will leave her fortune and large estate when she dies. This shows us that she is very bitter and delights in other people (particularly men's) sorrow. Miss Havisham continues to use Estella throughout the play until near to her very own death she has a revelation and realises what a monster she has created in Estella. It is at this point that Miss Havisham realises the error in her ways and accuses Estella of being hard and ungrateful despite the fact that she too is like this and it is because of her that Estella has grown like this. However Miss Havisham does try to reform her character by helping Pip with his plan for Hebert and his business and by leaving her cousin Matthew a legacy upon Pip's advisement. However her regret is only shown just before her untimely death when Pip confronts her of what she has done to. ...read more.

Conclusion

is constantly calling Pip derogatory names such as 'boy' and 'common' and she refuses to call him by his name, in doing this she elevates herself above him, and this is most probably were Pip gets the idea and attitude that he should look down on those of a lower class, and provides an explain as to why he acts embarrassed when Mr Joe comes to visit him. Estella also consistently puts Pip down saying phrases such as 'but he is a common labouring boy' and using other such verbal violence, it is this violence, although in different forms that gives Pip a negative outlook on women and giving him an impression that all women are violent, but it is this link that also separates Ms Havisham from the rest of he female influences in his life, as she shows no physical or much verbal violence towards Pip perhaps saving women in Pip's eyes from total condemnation. Of all the characters in Pip's life Miss Havisham is probably one of the least influential on Pip, as we see very few of her defining characteristics in Pip. Miss Havisham's most defining characteristic being her Psychosis, and yet unsurprisingly we see that Pip is unaffected. Pip could also learn from Miss Havisham that the rich are very eccentric and are allowed to get away with anything, but again we see that Pip is unscathed by this. In fact there is very little which Pip takes away from his visits to Satis house, except an ever fonder heart for Estella. Miss Havisham is the character in 'Great Expectations' who managed to deny Pip the one thing that he longed for and desired with all his heart, Estella. She succeeded in ruining his life which he was surprisingly grateful for, especially as he was always so kind and polite to her. Miss Havisham is the one who tempted Pip and encouraged him to fall in love with Estella and then made sure that he was denied such love. ...read more.

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