As a character, however, Pip's idealism often leads him to perceive the world rather narrowly, seeing only the superficial value, leads him to behave badly toward the people who care about him. “I wished Joe had been more genteelly brought up, and then I should have been so too.” When Pip becomes a gentleman, for example, he immediately begins to act as he thinks a gentleman is supposed to act, which leads him to treat and snobbishly and coldly.
On the other hand, Pip is at heart a very generous and sympathetic young man, a fact that can be witnessed in his numerous acts of kindness throughout the book, for example – helping and secretly buying 's way into business – and his essential love for all those who love him. Pip's main line of development in the novel may be seen as the process of learning to place his innate sense of kindness and conscience above his immature idealism.
Not long after meeting and Estella, Pip's desire for advancement overpowers his basic goodness. After receiving his mysterious fortune, his idealistic wishes seem to have been justified, and he gives himself over to a gentlemanly life of idleness. But the discovery that the wretched Magwitch, not the wealthy Miss Havisham, is his secret benefactor shatters Pip's sense of his world's hierarchy.
The fact that he comes to admire Magwitch while losing Estella to the brutish nobleman ultimately forces him to realize that one's social position is not the most important quality one possesses, and that his behavior as a gentleman has caused him to hurt the people who care about him most, for example when Pip refuses to allow Joe to accompany him before he leaves for London "I had told Joe that I wished to walk away all alone.” Once he has learned these lessons, Pip matures into the man who narrates the novel, completing the bildungsroman.
In conclusion, the character of Pip has a powerful conscience, and during the novel he deeply wants to improve himself, both morally and socially. He learns many significant lessons in his travels such as society being full of cruelty and greed, and that meaningful relationships depend on humility and compassion. The focus on Pip’s actions, emotions and lessons learnt enhances the importance of his character to the novel.