Great Expectations: A Character Analysis

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As life goes on, many people encounter influential individuals and struggles that prompt a change from naive innocence to experienced maturity. Charles Dickens captures this journey through his novel Great Expectations. Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, a young boy who gradually comes to understand what it really means to be a gentleman. Pip develops from an impressionable, selfish boy to a grateful, content adult through his experiences of loving Estella, gaining a benefactor, and meeting Magwitch in London.
At the beginning of Great Expectations, Pip had accepted his future role as the town’s blacksmith, just like his brother-in-law Joe. However, that all changes after going to Satis House and meeting Estella. Estella treats Pip terribly, constantly reminding him that he is simply a common boy who doesn’t deserve to be in her
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When Mr. Jaggers comes to inform Pip of his new benefactor, Pip negatively develops into a snobby, selfish child, and actions towards Joe and Biddy begin to mirror Miss Havisham and Estella’s actions towards him. He thinks Joe and Biddy are below him, nothing more than simple commoners. He says, “As the six evenings had dwindled away, I had become more and more appreciative of the society of Joe and Biddy” (Dickens 611). By the end of Stage I, Pip completely detaches himself from the working class life, placing himself at a higher social status before even leaving for London. He continues with his arrogance throughout Stage II, judging his new friend Herbert as a loser and acting irresponsibly with his money. Pip’s selfish actions, however, begin his arc for redemption. He gradually starts to feel guilty and regretful for spending so much money and consequently putting himself and Herbert in debt, but since Herbert doesn’t have a benefactor like Pip does, Herbert has no way out of his debt. So, Pip devises a plan to secretly set Herbert up with a business
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