Character Analysis in Pip in Charles Dickens´ Great Expectations

1542 WordsJul 12, 20187 Pages
Everyone in life struggles to live up to what others and society expects them to be in life, the next Harvard Graduate, or the next new celebrity. But, these expectations can begin to define a person if he believes he has to conform to society's expectations. In Charles Dickens novel "Great Expectations", young Pip feels the pressure from society and his love, Estella, to become a gentleman. By attempting to rise in his social class Pip then abandons his previous good morals and his family members when he moves to London. Each character has aspirations for Pip which he believes he must fulfill in order to succeed in life. He also sets expectations for his friends and family and becomes disappointed when they do not meet his aspirations.…show more content…
For example, Miss Havisham has very high expectations for Pip. She believes he will become a gentleman and she loves how he is "educating for a lady; far out of reach; prettier than ever; admired by all who see her" (205). Miss Havisham expects this of Pip but no he will never be able to attain Estella's love because she does not "bestowed [her] tenderness anywhere. [She has] never had any such thing."(205). Pip desires to become a gentleman so he tries to live up to Miss Havisham's expectations. Furthermore, as he tries to win over Miss Havisham, he also wants Estella to fall in love with him. Pip believes he loves "Estella with the love of a man, [and] loved her simply because [he finds] her irresistible" (411). He realizes in order to win Estella over, he must become a gentleman which "would take time, to become uncommon under these circumstances" (129). Furthermore, Estella ridicules Pip about his manners and appearance because "he calls the knaves, Jacks ... ‘And what coarse hands he has! And what thick boots!" (105). Estella expects if Pip is to be worthy of her love, he will be a gentleman, so he begins his quest to conform to Estella's idea of perfection. However, while he strives to win over Miss Havisham and Estella, he also strives to still be a part of his family. The major problem is Pip does not realize is he cannot be both because Miss Havisham and
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