Great Expectations By Charles Dickens: Character Analysis

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According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, happiness is “a state of well-being and contentment” (happiness). Happiness looks different to all people. To some it may be connections with friends and family, owning a dog, or possibly having a large sum of money. The relationship between wealth and happiness can be a complicated one for those who focus on the thought that money will make them content. In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, it can be seen that wealth does not equal genuine happiness and satisfaction. Throughout Great Expectations, the main character Pip goes through numerous ups and downs in his life because he struggles with recognizing that more wealth does not mean more happiness. Once he starts to be ashamed of his family’s…show more content…
While looking back to the past he says, “... I would far rather have worked at the forge all the days of my life than I would ever have come to this!” (Dickens 365). Pip is exclaiming that he wishes he had never left the forge. At the forge he had Joe to love him, comfort him, and provide a sense of family. Once Pip left, he ignored Joe who was one of the very few people that had ever deeply cared for him. He also left Biddy, his friend, and ruined their strong bond. Pip has realized that at the forge he had all he needed to be happy even though he had very little money. He saw that he would rather be a lowly blacksmith with contentment instead of be a gentleman and feel lonely. As the book starts to come to a close, Pip continues to recognize that his money has changed his mindset on life and has affected him as a person. He concludes that if he had never had a benefactor, his life would have been better in the sense that he would be happier and satisfied with himself. Pip states, “...I should have been happier and better if I had never seen Miss. Havisham’s face, and had risen to manhood content to be partners with Joe in the honest old forge” (Dickens 292). As one can tell, Pip thinks that his whole life would have been different if he had never visited Miss. Havisham and allowed her to change his views about himself and his life. If Miss. Havisham had never gotten involved with Pip, he would most likely be pleased and be with Joe as a blacksmith. He would have a better relationship with his family and overall, would have lived a happier life. Pip clearly illustrates the negative effects that money can have. If wealth is desired for selfish reasons, it can ruin relationships, mental health, and an entire life, as well as blur the line between money and
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