What Influences Shape Young Pip's Character in "Great Expectations"

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Navdeep Sahota                                                                               English Coursework

What Influences Shape Young Pip’s Character in “Great Expectations”

Great Expectations is the story of Philip Pirrip, an orphaned child living with his sister and brother-in-law. Pip faces many different situations and deals with more than a child today. We see many different signs to give us a clue upon Pip’s mind and the way he thinks. The circumstances and people he has encountered have made him the person he pans out to be towards the end of the book.

Pip’s parents died when he was young along with five of his siblings. At the beginning of the book Pip, aged seven, tells us that “the shape of the letters on my father’s, gave me an odd idea he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair.” He is referring to his father’s tombstone and even though Pip has never seen him he imagines what he looked like by the shaping of the letters on the tombstone. This shows Pip has a very strong imagination. He also must visit the cemetery often and wonder what life would be like with his deceased family.

Pip, unlike the majority of orphans at the time, still had some family: his brother-in-law and sister, Mr and Mrs Joe Gargery. Pip feels happy with his guardians as he still has someone and I think he is grateful, as he knows other orphans would be having very hard times. However, Mrs Joe Gargery ends up dieing and then Pip has no blood family left. Pip was upset with the loss of his sister but he had a stronger relationship with Mr Joe so they both grieve together. This makes Pip determined to start his own family, as he does not want to be alone in his life.

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Pip, of a working-classed family, gets invited to go and play at a middle-classed women’s house. He is forced to accept by his sister and he goes to Miss Havisham’s house. There he sees a better standard of living than the one he is experiencing. He meets a girl of similar age there named Estella. She insults Pip all the time and makes him feel very small and inferior to her. When Miss Havisham proposes that she play a game with Pip she responds by saying “Why, he is a common labouring-boy” Eventually she agrees to the request but ...

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