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Great Expectations - Characters and what Pip learns from them, about them, and about himself.

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Introduction

Great Expectations: Characters and what Pip learns from them, about them, and about himself. Magwitch reminds Pip of his vulnerability throughout the novel. When Magwitch turns Pip upside down in the novel, this can be interpreted as a metaphor for indeed just how much Magwitch does change Pip's life around. When Pip first meets his convict he does not look down on him, even hoping the guards don't catch him on the marshes. However, snobbish attitudes towards convicts soon develop when Pip has expectations. Therefore, when Magwitch returns into Pip's life, Pip looks down on the man who has provided for and supported him, simply because he is not a gentleman. This is a great irony as is the convict had kept the money to himself, Pip would be the inferior, and Magwitch the gentleman. "The abhorrence in which I held the man, the dread I had of him, the repugnance with which I shrank from him, could not have been exceeded if he had been some terrible beast." Pip realises that Magwitch takes more pride in seeing Pip exist in such a rich manner than if he himself was having all the comforts. The money Magwitch gives to Pip does not make him happy, so Pip learns about the value of money from the convict. ...read more.

Middle

The knowledge that Pip was common and seen as inferior made him ashamed of home, and unhappy in his job with Joe. "...I had believed in the forge as the glowing road to manhood and independence. Within a single year this was all changed. Now, it was all coarse and common..." Therefore, Estella and Miss Havisham had in effect poisoned Pip's mind and given him knowledge he would have been happier without. Estella herself ends up miserable from the lifestyle she had been brought up to lead. Pip realises that Estella thinking she had no heart ruined more than just the men she teased lives, but her own. By Estella marrying Drummle and refusing Pip's love, she made a very big mistake and admits to it. Pip learns that love should never be refused or scorned, but repayed. For example, he is happiest in his self when he is in a muturally affectionate relationship with Magwitch and Joe. Miss Havisham and Orlick teach Pip that revenge is not a route to take. The desire to have revenge on each other between Compeyson and Magwitch leads to the end of both of their lives. Orlick's plans for revenge on Pip are unsuccessful and he ends up in the County Jail. ...read more.

Conclusion

'If you can't get to be a oncommon scholar through going straight, you'll never get to do it through going crooked. So don't tell no more on 'em Pip, and live well and die happy.' Jaggers behaves throughout the novel like a lawyer both while at work, and at home. He is very efficient and all his words seem as if they are planned to derive a specific reaction. Jaggers appears to have no emotion at all. However, when Pip reveals he knows of Estella's parentage, Jaggers displays qualities that imply Jaggers does indeed have a heart, as he rescused Estella and had 'poor dreams' himself. This is another example of how people are not always as they seem. Pumblechook is portrayed by Dickens as a sycophantic, arrogant obnoxious, vain and selfish man. By Pip's uncle claiming to be Pip's earliest benefactor, it reveals that not all gentlemen are necessarily nice people. It is indeed an irony that it may be Pumblechook's recommendation of Pip to Miss Havisham that ruined Pip's life, rather than helped him. This idea can be seen again where Compeyson uses his education and manners to gain Miss Havishams love in order to drain her of her money. ...read more.

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