• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Sources of Sympathy for Pip in Great Expectations

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sources of Sympathy for Pip in Great Expectations By Patricia Cove, Amherst Regional High School, class of 2001 PIP Great Expectations is a novel in which each character is a subject of either sympathy or scorn. Charles Dickens implies through his use of guilt and suffering that Pip is a subject of sympathy. Frazier Russell wrote that in Great Expectations "the protagonist (through his suffering and disappointment), learns to accept his station in life."1 Also through Pip's suffering comes the sympathy the reader feels for him. The majority of the suffering Pip is subject to in the novel is a result of the guilt he feels. As a child he suffers under an unfair burden of guilt placed on him by his sister. He also feels guilty because of his association with criminals and criminal activity throughout his life. During the second part of the novel, Pip falls from innocence into snobbery. Because of the double narrative Dickens chose to employ, the reader never loses sympathy for Pip. His final redemption comes when he is able to see his faults and recognize that he is guilty of snobbery. As a child, Pip is pitied by the reader because of his situation as the younger brother of Mrs. Joe, by whom he is constantly tormented. Mrs. Joe's treatment of Pip is not only unjust, but it influences Pip's view of himself and establishes in him a sense of guilt for merely existing. ...read more.

Middle

He carries a burden of guilt and disgust for crime throughout the novel. Robbing Mrs. Joe as a child, Pip tortures himself with guilty visions and a self-accusing imagination: The mist was heavier yet when I got out upon the marshes, so that instead of my running at everything, everything seemed to run at me. This was very disagreeable to a guilty mind. The gates and dikes and banks came bursting at me through the mist, as if they cried as plainly as could be, 'A boy with somebody else's pork pie! Stop him!' The cattle came upon me with like suddenness, staring out of their eyes, and steaming out of their nostrils, 'Halloa, young thief!' One black ox, with a white cravat on- who even had to my awakened conscience something of a clerical air- fixed me so obstinately with his eyes, and moved his blunt head round in such an accusatory manner as I moved round, that I blubbered out to him, 'I couldn't help it, sir! It wasn't for myself I took it!' Upon which he put down his head, blew a cloud of smoke out of his nose, and vanished with a kick-up of his hind-legs and a flourish of his tail.5 When he re-encounters Magwitch later, his memory is flooded with the images of his childhood. Likewise, his conscience haunts him when he hears of the attack on Mrs. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the last chapters of Great Expectations, Dickens gives the turning point in which Pip the Character is reborn, almost identical to Pip the Narrator. This change in Pip occurs when he realizes in the present what snobbery he is guilty of and how he is repressing his guilt: "For now my repugnance to him had all melted away, and in the hunted wounded shackled creature who held my hand in his, I only saw a man who had meant to be my benefactor, and who had felt affectionately, gratefully, and generously towards me with great constancy through a series of years. I only saw in him a much better man than I had been to Joe."11 In this realization, Pip is able to come to terms with his past. He suffers through the guilt he feels in his treatment of Joe and rises above his snobbery. He is also able to free himself of his criminal guilt when he sees Magwitch as a friend and benefactor, rather than a criminal. In this instant, Pip suffers for his failings and is finally forgiven by the reader. Pip suffers greatly through the burden of guilt he carries. His lowest point in the novel occurs when he fails to acknowledge the fact that he is guilty of behaving like a snob. However, he is redeemed to his situation of being a subject of sympathy when he realizes his guilt. When someone has fallen, it is only possible for him to rise again when he recognizes that he has fallen. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Pip and Guilt in Great Expectations: Innocence, Association, And Obsession

    Pip is "manipulable by adults for the extraction of certain sensations by making him feel guilty (p.653)". These manipulations make Mrs. Joe and Pumplechook feel "virtuous and great". There are countless times in the beginning of Great Expectations when Mrs.

  2. How does dickens create sympathy for pip in chapters 1 and 8?

    Not only is Pip alone with a stranger in an empty churchyard, he is cold, frightened and about to burst in tears because Pip is being picked by a terrifying looking convict. Magwitch also claims there is a young man with him, far more harmful than he is, and Magwitch

  1. Great expectations - Pip the narrator.

    When Pip is fourteen, Miss Havisham tells Pip that he is to never return, as he is starting his blacksmith apprenticeship.

  2. Show how Dickens introduces the themes of crime, punishment and guilt in the early ...

    He feels guilty because he knows that to get the supplies for the convict he has to steal them from Mrs Joe. Pip all night wouldn't eat because he knew he had to save it for the convict otherwise the promised killer would come and tear his liver and heart out and eat them this made him frightened.

  1. How does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in chapter 1 and 8 of Great ...

    Great Expectations is about a boy (Pip) whom gets treated badly by everyone and his parents and 5 brothers are dead. In those days there were very high death rates so it's no wonder a lot of his family members died. There were high death rates because people were extremely poor and couldn't afford to drink clean water or food, so they got diseases.

  2. How Does Dickens Create Sympathy in Chapters 1 and 8 of Great Expectations?

    This is because of the keyword 'little,' it creates a reductive image amongst the other keywords and phrases such as 'gave up' and 'Universal Struggle.' Dickens uses huge long sentences that create bathos. Pip is isolated, alone, orphaned and we feel sorry for him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work