Great Expectations Essay

Submitted By joesmith23
Words: 1023
Pages: 5

Evolution of Expectations The desire to escape from a “common” life and experience the greater, superior experiences that life has to offer is not uncommon. In fact, the central character of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, Pip Pirrip, aspires to achieve this objective. Pip’s overwhelming yearning to become a gentleman for the love of his life, Estella, strongly wills him to change along the way in order to become a Victorian society “gentleman” and win the heart of his one true love. Along the way of Pip’s quest to becoming a gentleman, he stumbles upon a few select characters that greatly influence him in positive, supporting ways. These characters aid him in becoming the gentleman who recalls memorable events of his childhood. Mr. Jaggers, Estella, and Herbert influence Pip’s growth by allowing his growth, motivating him, and assisting him. Mr. Jaggers critically influences Pip’s development from a blacksmith’s apprentice to a young, Victorian society gentleman by allowing his growth by showing willingness and also allowing Pip to make mistakes. When Pip first travels to London, Mr. Jaggers remarks that Pip will live with Matthew Pocket’s son, Herbert Pocket. Pip recalls Mr. Jagger’s words, he [Pip] was to remain with young Mr. Pocket until Monday; on Monday he was to go with him to his father’s house on a visit, that he might try how he liked it (Dickens 162). This encounter between Pip and Mr. Jaggers demonstrates Mr. Jagger’s willingness for Pip to grow and flourish on his own. Although allowing Pip to live by his own rules may not have been the best decision at some points, he [Pip] to make his life in London worthwhile. For example, after a great deal of time living in London, Pip runs up a prodigious debt that he must pay off. Pip evokes the words of Mr. Jagger’s when he falls ill and needs care desperately; simultaneously young master Pip also has a predicament with the constable and debt collectors that he needs to satisfy. Mr. Jaggers states to Pip, “I shall by this means be able to check your bills, and to pull you up if I find you outrunning the constable. Of course you’ll go wrong somehow, but that’s no fault of mine” (Dickens 162). Thus, Mr. Jaggers allows Pip to make mistakes by permitting Pip’s growth and success. Lastly, Mr. Jaggers influences Pip by demonstrating willingness towards his growth and allowing Pip to make mistakes in order for him to succeed and excel. In addition, Estella analytically influences Pip’s advance from a common, marsh boy to a humble gentleman of society by motivating him with cruel insults and misleading him with false desire. As soon as Pip first arrives at Miss Havisham and Estella’s residence, Estella greets him with cold, unwelcoming glances. Remembering his first confrontation with Estella, Pip states, “She had said that I was common, and that I knew I was common, and that I wished I was not common, and that the lies had come of it somehow, though I didn’t know how” (Dickens 67). Pip becomes utterly embarrassed and ashamed of himself throughout the rest of his visit. Consequently, Estella criticizes Pip in many ways therefore influencing him by strengthening his aspiration to be of higher class and status for her. Furthermore, Estella influences Pip by misguiding him with false desire and consent. Following Pip’s daily visit with Miss Havisham, Estella prompts Pip upon his departure. Pip recollects that, “Instead of going straight to the gate, too, she [Estella] stepped back into the passage and beckoned me. ‘Come here! You may kiss me, if you like’” (Dickens 89). Estella uses Pip’s love as a child would use a toy yet Pip returns to her, eager for her love and approval. Undoubtedly, Estella influences Pip by motivating him with cruel jokes and misleading gestures. Finally, Herbert strongly influences Pip’s strengthening of character