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Great Expectations - In what ways does Pip's character change as the book progresses?

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Great Expectations. In what ways does Pip's character change as the book progresses? Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations in 1860-1861. The book is written in the past tense through the eyes of an older Pip and is narrated by Pip himself - Auto-Diagesis. The book has many themes and symbols and has become a classic in today's world. We first come across a boy named Pip sitting in a graveyard staring at his parents' gravestone. The situation is unappealing and the churchyard is surrounded by fog and mist, a symbol, which represents danger and uncertainty. Pip is seized by Magwitch and is very threatening toward Pip, threatening to slit his throat and eat his liver, which Pip takes literally. Pip is terrified and is filled with fear whereas Magwitch has power and control. After Magwitch tells Pip to get him food, Pip run off but keeps looking back at Magwitch, which suggests sympathy and compassion of him. Pip and Magwitch are similar as they both have rough backgrounds. Pip is an orphan and Magwitch is a convict, but they are both lonely and hard done by. Magwitch is introduced so early in the book because he is a part of Pips' destiny. ...read more.


Ms. Havisham gives Pip �25 to be apprenticed to Joe. "I was truly wretched, I had a strong conviction I would not like Joes trade. I had liked it once, but once was not now." It is here that we see that Pip has changed! He is now ashamed of his home, his education, or lack of, and of his trade. Pip confides in Biddy that he wants to be a gentleman and as a true friend would do, she gave him good advice and common sense. A large fortune is delivered to Pip one day by a lawyer called Jaggers from an anonymous benefactor. Pip is initially thinks the benefactor is Ms. Havisham and is lead to believe so. Pip now has "Great Expectations" and must travel to London immediately to start his education as a gentleman. Mrs. Joe is attacked and becomes a mute, but from her gestures and actions Pip deduces that it must have been Orlick, and from now on Orlick is an enemy of Pips. Pip, now with money and a bit of power doesn't think that Orlick is suitable as Ms. Havishams' Porter and gets Jaggers to fire him. Pip doesn't think of the consequences because even though Orlick is rude and unsuitable, he still does the job and needs the money to eat. ...read more.


Most importantly we learn the Estella, a person who Pip has always thought to be a person of higher social standard and status is in fact the product of a murderer and a convict, Magwitch being her real father and "Tigress", Jaggers' housekeeper who strangled a person with her bare hands is her mother. At this point of the story, there is a clear emphasise on the morality wheel turning. Pip is starting to learn what is really important and has already changed for the better. Pip goes to work for Herbert Pocket and has found happiness and fulfilment from working hard. Pip pays off all his debts, which earlier Joe had helped him, and goes off to the country only to return 11 years later. He discovers that Joe and Biddy have a child called "little Pip" and Pip fell completely and utterly at home with these people, and it reminds him in a good way of when he was a child. Pip has changed back to good. It was Estella's influence that changed him for the worse and Pip has lived without her for 11 years. He meets Estella again and she has changed for the better through suffering from her abusive husband. Through suffering, she has learned to love. Pips obsession with trying to be good enough for Estella turned him bad. Ross Bowden 10RCB ...read more.

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