Great Expectations- Character Analysis Essay

10289 Words Nov 26th, 2000 42 Pages
Estella Havisham:
Most readers are appalled at the cold-hearted and cruel ways of Estella, but any criticism directed at her is largely undeserved. She was simply raised in a controlled environment where she was, in essence, brainwashed by Miss Havisham. Nonetheless, her demeanor might lead one to suspect that she was a girl with a heart of ice. Estella is scornful from the moment she is introduced, when she remarks on Pip's coarse hands and thick boots. However, her beauty soon captivates Pip and she is instilled as the focal point of his thoughts for much of the remainder of the novel. The fact that Pip becomes infatuated with her is also not Estella's fault. By no means is there any evidence that she loved him. She does not flirt with
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The entire story is told through the eyes of an adult Pip, even though Pip is a small child during parts of it. In his early years, Pip was strongly influenced by his guardians, Joe Gargery and his wife, Mrs. Joe. Joe instills a sense of honesty, industry, and friendliness in Pip, while Mrs. Joe does a great deal to contribute to his desires and ambitions through her constant emphasis on pomp and property. Pip is generally good-natured and thoughtful, and very imaginative. His false values, which are bolstered by his love of Estella, decrease the amount of respect that he has for Joe. His alienation from Joe and Joe's values builds through the second part of the novel, as Pip becomes selfish, greedy, and foolish. During the period when his expectations are intact, his only morally positive act was to secretly help Herbert Pocket into a good position. Upon discovering that Magwitch is his benefactor, a new phase begins in Pip's moral evolution. At first, Pip no longer feels the same human compassion for Magwitch that he did the first time he saw him out on the marshes. Gradually, Pip changes his perception of Magwitch, unlearning what he has learned. Pip becomes concerned with the man, and not the expectations that he could provide. When Jaggers presents the thought that there may be a way for Pip to get his hands on Magwitch's property, the idea sounds hollow and utterly empty to Pip. Pip learns about Estella's parentage through
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