Great Expectations: Human affection is one of the truest emotions there are. In the novel, Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, depicts the life of a young boy by the name of Philip and his extraordinary transition from childhood to adolescence. From boyhood, Pip, for short, was raised in a humble background with the intentions of becoming and underling to his older stepbrother Joe, with whom he has a strong bond. However, as time passes and Pip is exposed to the lavish lifestyles of Ms. Havisham, a wealthy spinster, and her daughter Estella, Pip looses sight of the old bonds he created and is immediately sucked into the world of materialistic wealth. While Dickens portray Pip as an honest, just, and morally sound character, he is put through numerous trials that occasionally bring out the worst of his personality. An example of this is how he is overly self-critical, shown when he encounters Estella for the first few times.
“I set off on the four-mile walk to our forge; pondering, as I went along, on all I had seen, and deeply revolving that I was a common labouring-boy; that my hands were coarse; that my boots were thick; that I had fallen into a despicable habit of calling Knaves Jacks; that I was much more ignorant than I had considered myself last night, and generally that I was in a low-lived bad way.” (Dickens, 65).
After Pip encountered the judgmental yet beautiful siren known as Estella he deemed himself unworthy and lesser of a person over all. In spite of this, Pip is determined to become a young man that is worthy of a girl of such a status. A huge step in this process was his coming into great expectations due to and unnamed benefactor. While at the time that Pip received this information his upbringing may have seemed anything but terrifying. However, while Pip became more and more used to the he strived to live, numerous secrets unveiled around him, making him aware of his misconception of happiness.
As Pip lives his life as a wealthier individual, he comes across numerous bumps along the road. Between his newfound “rival” Bentley Drummle, his conflicted feelings for Estella as well as the ones he holds close at home, and the challenge of discerning foes from friends, it is hard to say that Pip has it easy once he comes into great expectations.
Even more pressure is put on Pip once he finds out that his unnamed benefactor is the convict whom he had met many years prior, under much different circumstances. Not only was Pip disgusted by the fact that he received his fortune from someone that was even lower than he started out in respects to socials class but that Ms. Havisham was not his benefactor. Before Pip’s encounter with his convict benefactor, he had believed Ms. Havisham provided him with money with the intent of having Estella marry him.
“Miss Havisham’s intentions towards me, all a mere dream; Estella, not designed for me; I… But, sharpest and deepest pain of al – it was for the convict, guilty of I knew not what crimes, and liable to be taken out of those rooms where I sat thinking, and hanged at the Old Bailey door, that I had deserted Joe.” (Dickens, 328)
This is a major turning point for Pip. While he still does show a level of disdain for receiving money from a criminal on the run, Pip gets a taste of how much friendship and human affection really means. Just because some kind boy years ago brought him some food the convict, later revealed as Abel Magwitch, dedicated his life to obtaining a fortune that he could pass on to the then grown-up Pip. The struggle to take Magwitch to safety was another trial that Pip had to overcome. Pip’s concern for his benefactor grew over time, starting from an obligatory duty that later blossomed into genuine care and love. One factor that catalyzed this change in Pip’s stance was the discovery of just how connected Magwitch was to his life. Not only did he play the role of Pip’s benefactor; he was revealed to be the