Examine Pip's Relationships with the Main Female Characters in the Novel Great Expectations

Topics: Great Expectations, Satis House, Miss Havisham Pages: 6 (1707 words) Published: July 4, 2006
Pip, was the best name that Philip Pirrip could pronounce as a child. Growing up, Pip didn't have a mother or a father to look after him, they died when he was younger, and this caused his older sister Mrs.Joe to have to look after him. Throughout the story, Pip has a large number of women who influence him in many different ways. First there is his sister, Mrs. Joe, then Biddy, Mrs.Havisham, and Estella. They all changed his life in different ways, yet they all contribute to how Pip is as a person.

I think the best person to begin with would probably be Mrs.Joe. She brought Pip up from being a child. She brought him up "by hand". She always bragged about how she took such good care of him, when in reality, she beat him, and treat him terribly. She really did believe that she was bringing Pip up well, and that he wasn't grateful for anything she gave him. She made him feel like he wasn't wanted, and that he was nothing to her and she's very full of herself.

"If it warn't for me you'd have been to
the churchyard long ago, and stayed
there. Who brought you up by hand?"

Mrs.Joe isn't just mean to Pip, her own husband is affraid of her, she's not satisfied with anything he get's her either.

"It's bad enough to be a blacksmith's
wife (and him a Gargery) without
being your mother."

So it's like she hates her life, she hates her husband, and she hates the fact that she has to take care of Pip.

The tickler, it was something that Mrs.Joe used to beat Pip.

"Tickler was awax-ended piece of
cane, worn smooth by collision
with my tickled frame."

Pip referred
to his sister as basically
a aggressive
obsessive compulsive controlling
woman, even the way she cut her bread was mean, she was just aggressive in everything she did. Her husband was so affraid that he might beat him he has to walk home with his mouth open, so that she doesn't small the rum on his breath to know that he's been drinking.

"Joe went all the way home with his
mouth wide open, to rinse the rum
out with as much air as possible."

For Pip to see his one "father figure" being so affraid of his own wife like he was, didn't set a very good impression for him. He looked up to Joe, and thought of him as a best friend, yet to see him buckle under Mrs.Joe's strict rules doesn't say much for Joe as a person.

All through the story, Pip never really get's along with his sister. He becomes a little bit closer to her when she is attacked by Orlick. Yet, there is always something inside of him, that will remember all the horrible things his sister has put him through. She kept the house so clean, she had a strict way of how she ran things.

"Mrs.Joe was a very clean housekeeper,
but had an exquisite art of making her
cleanliness more uncomfortable and
unnaceptable than dirt itself."

The next character that influences Pip is Biddy, she influences him in a completly different way though, Biddy plays a significant role in Pip's life. The grandaughter of the teacher at school, Pip and Biddy meet for the first time there. Biddy and Pip become close friends, and in a way, Biddy represents everything Estella never was, she is plain, and simple, and unlike Estella, Biddy doesn't care where or what Pip came from.

The first time we start to see Biddy in a major role is when she agrees to help Pip with his schooling after he decides to take a step to improve his social standing in life. We see how he uses Biddy to get to Estella.

"the best step I could take towards making
myself uncommon was to get out of Biddy
everything she knew"

As Pip starts to feel like he's going up in the social ladder, he begins to start confiding in Biddy rather than Joe because he feels that Joe is too "common" for him. We start to see how Pip feels comfortable around Biddy and how he's willing to tell her how he feels.

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