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Great Expectations

By kim97nyc Jan 17, 2013 1151 Words
1/16/13
ELA1LL/9th

Great Expectations Thesis Paper

Throughout the novel Great Expectations by Charles dickens, Pip’s character goes through the journey of coming of age. Pip has a mysterious benefactor named Abel Magwitch who is a convict. In the process of giving Pip money, Magwitch influences him in many different ways. Even though Pip is asked to steal food for Magwitch when they first meet, Pip comes to a better understanding of Magwitch and his actions. As Pip comes of age, Magwitch aids him the most by causing him to accept the different social classes and become independent.

When Pip receives his great expectation, he thinks he is superior to anyone below his social status, but Magwitch makes him see there is really no difference in classes. As Pip comes of age, his benefactor was kept a secret until Magwitch says, “Yes, Pip, dear boy, I’ve made a gentleman on you” (319). Pip’s response is, “O no, no, no … Never, never! … O Estella, Estella!” (321). The tone in Pip’s voice when he reacts is very powerful because of repetition. He is not able to keep in the frustration within him, which makes Pip express his inner feelings many times. The tone shows that Pip doesn’t want Magwitch to be his mysterious patron. Since Magwitch is a convict, and is considered to be of low class, Pip does not accept the fact that Magwitch was his mystery benefactor. Pip implies that he wants someone higher in class to supply him money by saying Estella twice, who is very high in class. But as the story goes on, Pip starts to develop an understanding for Magwitch. For example, “My repugnance to [Magwitch] had all melted away, and in the hunted wounded shackled creature who held my hand in his, I only saw a man who had meant to be my benefactor, and who had felt affectionately, gratefully, and generously, towards me with a great constancy through a series of years. I saw in him a much better man than I had been to Joe” (446). When Pip comes to visit Magwitch who is in his cell, Pip finally realizes that Magwitch was just trying to take care of Pip because Magwitch cared for him. Pip puts away the difference in social classes and takes in Magwitch for who he really is: caring and generous. Pip even says that Magwitch is a better person compared to him when he is around Joe, who is of lower class. Pip finally understands that there really is no difference in status and that every person should be treated equally no matter the class.

As Pip goes along his journey of coming of age he is dependent on a lot of people, but when Magwitch enters his life Pip starts to take control of himself by taking his own actions. In the beginning, Pip wasn’t quite sure of what he is doing. For instance, “After several times falling short of my destination and as often overshooting it, I came unexpectedly round a corner, upon Mill Pond Bank” (374). Since Pip is falls short of his destination, the lodge where Magwitch lives temporarily, shows that he doesn’t really know the path he is following. The boat in the quote symbolizes the journey Pip is taking to become a gentleman. Because Pip is not quite sure of his path while on the boat shows that he doesn’t really know how to reach Magwitch emotionally and physically. He is very confused as to what path he is taking in life and how to unscramble all the pieces. However, Pip doesn’t stay undecided forever. When Magwitch enters his life, he begins to see a clear path as to where he is heading. “[Pip] set himself to get the boat, It was soon done, and the boat was brought round… [Pip] thought with dread that it was flowing towards Magwitch” (381). Pip is taking control of the boat which symbolically means that he is steering his own life. Not only does he know where he is headed in life, he also cares for others like Magwitch. Pip taking control over his route in life shows that he can take care of himself as well as take care of others important in his life. The motif of boats in this context is important to understand because the quotes show different meanings. In the first quote Pip is not sure of where the boat is taking him, however in the second quote Pip rows the boat himself and guides himself. It is evident that Pip finally changed from immature to an independent man during his coming of age journey.

Throughout the journey of life for each person, there is that one person who helps them overcome the obstacles of changes in our environment, for me it was my mom. From learning how to add numbers to giving directions on how to get to school, she is always there for me to give advice. My mom takes certain actions which indirectly impacts me. When my mom talks to my dad about the loans we have and how tight we are with money, it really made an indent in me. Ever since middle school, when I first understood what my mom was saying, I tried to stop spending money. My mom is the reason why I am a little stingy, which I find a good thing to be in the future. Since I have a younger sister, my mom started focusing on her after I graduated elementary school. The abandonment hit me hard at first, but as months progressed I became more mature and was able to create studying skills of my own. Even though my mom gives me verbal advice, like helping me in math, I think she influenced me the most indirectly. Sometimes I ask why she did this to me and my mom would say it was to improve myself as a person and get ready for the real world. In my honest opinion, I think my mom aids me the most in life.

Even though in the beginning of the novel Pip was ignorant and leaned on people for help, when Magwitch entered his life Pip became independent and humble. Because of Pip’s great expectation he starts to judge the different social classes, but Magwitch enlightens him on how every person has the same qualities no matter what status they are in. In addition, Magwitch impacts Pip’s growth from being dependent on others to guide his life to having the knowledge of what he has to do to achieve his goals in life. The impacts Magwitch made on Pip are similar to how my mom influences me. In both instances there is an indirect approach of guiding the other towards life. Magwitch and my mom gave important characteristics to their loved ones which will help them succeed in life.

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