Great Expectations Foil

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In literature, many authors utilize minor characters to significantly add to the meaning of the work. In Great Expectations, three minor characters have important functions, such as serving as a foil to the main character, and adding on to the theme. To begin, Herbert, a minor characters, illustrates a direct foil of Pip. A foil can be defined as another character who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist). Even though Pip and Herbert share a great friendship (since opposites seem to attract), many differences between Herbert and Pip exploit the presence of a foil. For instance, Herbert represents an extremely realistic character; “So I would, Handel, only they are staring me out of countenance,” (Page 238). This quote…show more content…
Estella endured a rough upbringing; Miss Havisham raised her to hate men and break hearts. Miss Havisham even says, “Break their hearts my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy,” (page 81), which shows how Estella heartlessly acts as a pawn. Estella represents the theme of unbridled love, and how unbridled love can act as a negative device. Throughout the whole book, Pip falls madly in love with Estella...he goes to the ends of the Earth for her. Pip wants Estella so badly that he tries to change everything about his life: he attempts to become rich, well educated, popular, and a gentleman. One is constantly reminded of Pip’s love for Estella. Estella allows the theme of unbridled love to come through, and demonstrate how love can possess too much power, driving one to the ends of the Earth. Love also resembles something very abstract but yet so powerful. The following quote demonstrates the power of Pip’s love for Estella, and how Estella holds power over Pip since he loves her. “The unqualified truth is, that when I loved Estella with the love of a man, I loved her simply because I found her irresistible. Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be,” (page 200). Overall, Estella, a minor character,…show more content…
Joe Gargery exemplifies the theme of the power of friendship in this book. When Pip prepares to go to London, he gives Joe a very mean and snobby attitude. He even lets on that Joe and his background cause him embarrassment, “I have been thinking, Joe, that when I go downtown on Monday, and order my new clothes, I shall tell the tailor that I 'll come and put them on there, or that I 'll have them sent to Mr. Pumblechook 's. It would be very disagreeable to be stared at by all the people here,” (page 126). Throughout Pip leaving on a sour note, Joe always remains around for Pip. Joe even meets Pip in London and tells Pip that he cares about him and understands the social divide and changes that have taken place, “Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man’s a blacksmith, and one’s a whitesmith, and one’s a goldsmith, and one’s a coppersmith. Divisions among such must come, and must be met as they come,” (page 192). In reality, Pip does not deserve Joe’s friendship, but Joe continues to act kind-hearted and remain in Pip’s life, even though Pip displays rude behavior. This right here, represents true friendship, and the power that Joe’s bond has with Pip. When Pip needs help, and comes back to his home, Joe still helps Pip. Joe always supports Pip and exemplifies a great friend. Pip greatly relied on Joe, which also demonstrates
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