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Pip's Unrealistic Expectations in Great Expectations.

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Blake Ledbetter Pip's Unrealistic Expectations One aspect authors often use to enrich the detail within their novels is dynamic characters. Charles Dickens introduces the reader to many memorable characters, including Miss Havisham, the lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, and the convict, Magwitch. Great Expectations is the story of Pip and his expectations and disappointments that lead to him becoming a good-hearted man. The great changes that Pip's character goes through are very important to one of the novel's many themes. Dickens uses Pip's change from an innocent boy into a cocky gentleman and his redemption as a good hearted person to purvey the idea that impossible hopes and expectations can lead to undesirable backfires. In the beginning, Pip is characterized as a caring boy, who gets much sympathy from the reader even though he is happy with his common life. The reader develops sympathetic feelings toward Pip after only a few pages of the novel, which contain the fact that Pip's parents are dead and that the he has never seen "any likeness of either of them" (Dickens 1). ...read more.


The expectations that cause Pip's character to become less likable are those that he develops after being introduced to Miss Havisham and Estella. During his first visit to the Satis House, Estella makes fun of Pip. Pip seems to fall in love with Estella during that moment. After just one afternoon at the house, Pip shows a desire to become more conformed to Estella, in hopes that her attitude toward him would change. When walking back to his home, Pip begins to feel ashamed of his life. His mind is filled with regretful thoughts such as "that I was a common labouring-boy; that my hands were coarse; that my boots were thick; and generally that I was in a low-lived bad way" (Dickens 63). Pip realizes that his personality and perception on his life is changing as he states, "That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me" (Tredell 70). ...read more.


Pip feels as if he had never left the forge. He comes to the realization and appreciates that "there was no change whatever in Joe. Exactly what he had been in my eyes then, he was in my eyes still; just as simply faithful, just as simply right" (Tredell 67). When Joe unexpectedly leaves London to return to the forge, Pip follows him as soon as he is physically able. At the forge, Pip no longer shows any feelings of shame because he is now happy in his old surroundings. He even requests to go back to his old room. At the conclusion of Great Expectations, the reader most likely finds Pip's fate acceptable. He had changed from a caring boy into an arrogant young man as a result of his nonrealistic hopes and expectations. When those expectations come to an end, so do his traits, as he is shown to be a truly greathearted person. Therefore fits that, in both of Dickens' final endings, Pip is happy with his life. ...read more.

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