What influences shape young Pip’s
Character in “ Great Expectations”
In the book ‘Great Expectations’, Dickens describes many different aspects of Pip’s young life, which may have influenced him into becoming what he was at the end of the first part of the book. We see that he is influenced by his strange and remarkable relationships with his sister, Mrs Joe Gargery and his relationship with Miss Havisham and his meeting with the convict. The experiences of Dickens may have been why he choose to describe influences like these, because he would’ve seen these sorts of things which would have influenced children in Victorian times, like a child becoming an apprentice, just like Pip; and after all, all children find their influences from people around them and their parents.
In the book Dickens is constantly describing scenes where his sister Mrs Joe Gargery is bullying Pip, “ Tickler was a wax-ended piece of cane, worn smooth by collision with my tickled framed.” I therefore believe that this is one of the main influences for Pip becoming what he is in later life. I believe that this relationship affected him because it made him more paranoid to what he was doing, just encase he got the cane. A good example of this is where he is about to go and steal some pork pie for the convict and he begins to hear all these voices even though no one is around. “ Stop thief; Get up, Mrs Joe.” This clearly shows that his relationship with Mrs Joe has influenced him because it has made him afraid and paranoid whenever he is doing something wrong. His relationship with Mrs Joe Gargery also made him more courteous towards his elders, because otherwise he feared some kind of punishment. “ I should like to know- if you wouldn’t much mind-where the firing come from.” This shows that he was very courteous towards his elders in anything that he did and this was all down to his relationship with Mrs Joe.
I also believe that this strict upbringing shaped Pip’s life because inevitably this cruelty from his sister brought him in turn closer to Joe, who became his friend in later life, “ Ever the best of friends; ain’t us Pip,” Now by being closer to Joe he gained firstly a close and trustworthy friend, an apprentiship and many other things which shaped his life in years to come.
This in fact leads on to my next point that he may have been influenced by his very unique relationship with Joe, this sort of trusting relationship is very odd for Victorian times because an adult would never associate with a child and would never really be as close as Joe was to Pip. This relationship, may have influenced his life in various ways. It may have made him more adventurous because he knew he had a person to fall back on if everything went wrong and probably more importantly it gave him a secure job by being apprentice to Joe and being trained to become a blacksmith. “ When I was old enough, I was to be apprenticed top Joe.” This sort of career also influenced him when he met Estella because it made him feel inadequate and in turn made him strive to be better than just a labouring boy. This relationship with Joe may have also influenced his decision when he was asked to go to London and go with Mr Jaggers. This in turn may have made him go, because after all Joe was very supporting of him and he knew he would have some encouragement and support when he left and in turn this very strong relationship with Joe influenced him because it gave him a good steady job in London and let him escape all the monotony of country life. “ Farewell, monotonous acquaintances of my childhood, henceforth I was for London.”