Great Expectations

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In the novel “Great Expectations” written by Charles Dickens the story is about moral redemption and self discovery. Pip, the protagonist, struggles to find out who he is in his life, he struggles to find his great expectations, but at the same time wanting to be morally redeemed for all the bad things he thinks he does throughout his story.

Through out the story, Pip is always trying to have a clean conscious, so when he helps an escaped convict the guilt almost swallows him up. The convict terrifies him and he describes him as a: “A fearful man all in course grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by needles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.” (Dickens, 4). The name of the convict is never mentioned at this point but he picks Pip upside down and asks if he has anything like money. When the convict discovers that he has nothing to offer him, he scares Pip into doing things that he would never had. He demands Pip to bring him a file and wittles. To do that Pip would have to go against what he wants and would have to steal from Mrs. Joe and Joe. Mrs. Joe is his older sister and Pip lives with her and her husband Joe, who is the town’s blacksmith. Even though Pip does get the items for the convict, he hates lying to anyone, especially Joe because he cares most about him. So, when he is frightened into helping this convict it really makes him feel ashamed and horrible about him.

When Pip meets the convict with the things that he took, his sympathies become crossed when he finds the convict and sees what condition he is suffering in. That’s the thing about Pip; he has this special quality to care for human life. When Pip gets the items for the convict and he finds him suffering from the elements of the winter, Pip has a sudden pang of guilt and he feels emotional for the poor suffering man. “He was awfully cold to be sure. I half expected to see him drop down before my face and die of deadly cold. His eyes looked so awfully hungry, too…” (Dickens, 18). Even though Pip is still horrified by his appearance and the way he treated him earlier he still feels bad for him, and this plays into Pip’s self discovery. He is growing through these events, and it leads him into discovering himself and what he is capable to do and feel.

When he is very young, Pip is exposed to a new world of living in a high social class, higher than the one he lives now, he starts to question himself if he is good enough or not, and he wants to improve himself. Pip goes and visits the old grumpy lady, Miss Havisham who lives in the Satis House in hopes of getting a better education. He is setup by his Sister, Mrs. Joe, and Pumblechook who is actually Pip’s uncle in law, but he is very arrogant and is fixated with money. When Pip visits the Satis House for the first time, he meets a beautiful young girl, Estella, who is about the same age as himself and he decides that he is absolutely in love with her. Although she mocks him on his lower class appearance he is still enticed with her beauty. When he meets Miss Havisham, he thinks that she is crazy sitting in her wedding dress, in a decaying room with old moldy food, and with all the clocks stopped at twenty minutes to nine. Pip describes Miss Havisham to “waxwork and skeleton” (Dickens, 58). He is treated cruelly by both Estella and Miss Havisham. Estella’s reaction to Pip is hurtful and arrogant when she is asked to do something with Pip, “With this boy! Why he is nothing but a common labouring-boy!” (Dickens, 60). Miss Havisham loves the fact that Pip is nothing but taken with her Estella. When Miss Havisham’s heart was broken by a guy, she promised to take revenge on everyman by wanting to break their hearts as hers...
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