Father Figures in Great Expectations
Charles Dickens's Great Expectations tells the story of Pip's, the narrator, journey from childhood to adulthood. Pip gains three father figures along his journy, and each of these characters offers Pip an important aspect of being a father, but they also lack important parts. Joe Gargery, Pip's brotherinlaw, Mr. Jaggers, Pip's guardian in London, and Abel Magwitch, Pip's benefactor, all act as
Pip's father figures.
Joe acts as Pip's father figure at the beginning and end of the book. He provides Pip with love and care, but he lacks the class Pip desires. Joe teaches Pip honesty when he says “If you can't get to be oncommon through going straight, you'll never get to do it through going crooked. So don't tell no more on 'em Pip, and live well and die happy,” (65). This shows that he cares about how Pip will live.
However, he can't give him an education, which is what Pip desires most as a child. Pip says about Joe,
“I wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common, that he might be worthier of my society and less open to Estella's reproach,” (100). By this, Pip shows that he wants Joe to be smarter, so that Pip will appear better.
Mr. Jaggers is another father figure of Pips. In reverse of Joe, he can't provide Pip with love, but he can give him class. Mr. Jaggers, unlike Wemmick, his clerk, doesn't Separate his business and personal lives. When he is talking to Mike, a client who almost cries in Mr. Jaggers's office, Jaggers says, “Now look here, my man, get out of this office. I'll have no feelings here. Get out,” (382). This shows Mr. Jaggers's character, because he can't stand emotions, especially in a place of business.
However, he can provide Pip with class. In London, he is an important, respected lawyer. Because of