Essay about Pip

Submitted By pulse17
Words: 1016
Pages: 5

How do the narrators, Matilda and Pip, change during the course of the novels?
Lloyd Jones is a modern author who uses Umberto Eco’s phrase, “characters migrate”, to begin and inspire his famous novel, Mister Pip. “Character’s migrate” not only relates to Mister Pip, but also links to the iconic novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The protagonists in both books, Matilda from Mister Pip and Pip from Great Expectations, share experiences that influence them psychologically. Readers are invited to gain an understanding of identity from each protagonist’s mental migration through the novels. Pip from Great Expectations develops though the novel in three main stages. He begins as an innocent, young and simple minded boy, only aware of his family oriented lifestyle. He has a strong relationship with his brother­in­law Joe Gargery, a common blacksmith, and is openly proud to be related to him. This affectionate relationship is shown by, “I always treated him as a larger species of child, and as no more than my equal.” Pip displays genuine respect and love for Joe and regards him not only as a relative, but a great friend. Pip views Joe to be equal to him; this is significant because it shows that Pip doesn’t look at Joe to be inferior or superior to him. “…you and me is always friends, and I’d be the last to tell upon you, at any time.” This re­enforces the strength of Pip and Joe’s relationship. It illustrates the loyalty and trust that they share and how much Joe cares about Pip. This is the initial stage of Pip’s life before he migrates psychologically. Reader’s can view Pip’s identity clearly at this point­ he is content with his family and his future is bright as Joe’s apprentice. In the second stage of Pip’s life, he dramatically changes to be a snobbish and class minded boy. This cognitive migration is due to his visit to Satis House, where he encounters a beautiful yet condescending, manipulative girl, Estella. His introduction to the presence of social class transforms him. “I took the opportunity to look at my coarse hands and my common boots. They have never troubled me before, but they troubled me now.” His ‘coarse’ hands and ‘common’ boots have made Pip aware that he is inferior and lower class. This presents Pip’s change from being content with his family and status, to being ashamed of who he is and his background. To overcome the shame of his identity, he seizes on the opportunity to become a gentleman ­ ridding himself of a lower class. Pip migrates mentally for the final time in the later stages of his life. After working very hard and putting an immense effort in getting educated to become a gentleman to rid himself of the shame of being from a lower class, ironically he becomes ashamed of what he has now become, as illustrated by his reconciliation with Joe, “O Joe, you break my heart! Look angry at me, Joe. Strike me, Joe... Don’t be so good to me!” Readers are presented Pip’s realisation that his identity as a gentleman did not fit him well, and feels that Joe should be mad at him for not seeking his help. The world of class consumed him, and has made him turn his back on those he loves. Matilda from Mister Pip, similarly migrates psychologically from the experiences that she faces. Matilda is an innocent and curious young girl who lives with her mother on the island of Bougainville. She has a strong relationship with her mother, but it becomes strained by the introduction by Mr. Watts of the novel Great Expectations. This strained relationship is shown when her mother yells, “”He isn’t a blood relative!” The fact that a fictional character has more of an influence on Matilda than her ancestors do confuses and angers her mother, creating a rift between them. Matilda’s identity as an islander is lost by her complete obsession with the world of Pip in