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Great Expectations

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1. Love

Love is an emotion, where there is no wrong definition, for it suits each and every person differently, however some characteristics are the same amongst everybody. Pip thinks he is in love, but in my paper I investigate if it s a real desire of infatuation for Estella, or just a first big crush which lasted through out his teenage years. Pip s love for Estella is usually a one-way street, at least in his eyes. From the moment Pip meets her, he feels an attraction towards her. At the same token, Estella s outward feelings towards Pip are confusing and cruel. From slapping him in the face as hard as she can, to making him feel as low as dirt saying he has coarse hands and thick soles and such, Estella is able to crush Pip inside. He feels as though he cannot let. As time goes on, Pip learns all about Estella from her attitude and appearance. This attitude and appearance is what Pip wanted to attain so that Estella would love him. In chapter 17 Pip tells Biddy I am not at all happy as I am (Dickens, 127). He wants to become a gentleman. Throughout the book we discover that his false love controls Pip. His infatuation for Estella inspires him to become an educated gentleman. Miss Haversham did. After her betrayal in love she hardened her heart towards her fellow man. By hardening her heart and suppressing her naturally affectionate nature, she committed a crime against herself. Miss Havershams love for Compeyson is of a compassionate kind, this blinded her to his true nature, as Herbert remarked, "too haughty and too much in love to be advised by anyone." At Compeysons desertion her anger and sorrow became extreme and she threw herself and Satis House into perpetual mourning and a monument to her broken heart, shutting the world out and herself from the world. Her only concession is in her adoption of Estella.
Miss Haversham has ulterior motives in adopting Estella; this is not a loving action on her part, but a calculated maneuver to turn the child into a haughty, heartless instrument of revenge against men. Estella is encouraged to practice her disdain on Pip and to break his heart. Paradoxically, Miss
Haversham’s greatest sin is against herself. By hardening her heart she loses her generous, affectionate nature and becomes withered inside emotionally. Her punishment is that the heartless young woman she has made, uses her lack of feelings against Miss Haversham.
2. Friendship
Throughout the book many friendships become evident between Pip and other people. Pip is such a loyal friend of Herbert's that he cares more about Herbert's finances than he does about his own, and Pip even goes to Mrs. Havisham to ask for money for Herbert. Pip is devoted to Herbert, and he will go to great lengths for Herbert's well being. The reader is drawn into the power of this friendship more than any other negative thing happening. In addition, Wemmick helped Pip with Provis' escape, and by doing this Wemmick put himself in danger of being caught. Wemmick does this selfless act for his friendship with Pip. The bond of these two men over powers common sense, because they knowingly put themselves into danger. These lasting companionships are very far from any sort of disconsolation.
3. Suffering
Pip as the book's narrator and protagonist, is the most obvious victim of suffering, even though in practical terms he often does not have much to complain about. He suffers an unhappy home life, orphaned at a young age and raised by his bitter and vicious sister, Mrs Joe Gargery. Then, having been introduced to the crumbling ruin of Satis House and its crumbling resident Miss Havisham, he gains class awareness and becomes depressed that he is 'common' and beneath the status of the beautiful Estella. Even when Pip is made the recipient of a huge fortune and moves to London, he still suffers, the owner of a tortured heart being stamped on by the scornful and cold Estella. It is difficult sometimes to feel much sympathy for him, however, as he is occasionally so very arrogant and irritating. Estella, as the closest thing the novel has to a heroine, also suffers. Having had her perceptions of life distorted by the bitter and mad Miss Havisham, Estella believes herself to be without heart. She rejects love and enters an unhappy marriage to Bentley Drummle, who then proceeds to beat her. Towards the end of the book she tells Pip that through her own suffering she has finally come to understand the misery in Pip's heart. Estella also does not inspire a great deal of sympathy in the reader, but as the brainwashed victim of a crazed woman's indoctrination, her callous attitude can at least be explained. Miss Havisham herself, of course, is the big victim of the novel, abandoned on her wedding day by the criminal Compeyson. She makes it abundantly clear that every day is a routine of pain, misery and suffering for her, yet embraces this suffering by keeping her rooms as a shrine to the humiliation of her wedding day. Where other characters in Great Expectations seek to escape their suffering, Miss Havisham glories in hers, to the point where it starts to define her. Suffering in Great Expectations is depicted as a constant of human existence. Perhaps Dickens intended this as a conscious comment on the self-absorbed angst of the middle classes, perhaps it is unintentional, either way it adds extra depth to one of the most popular novels in the English language.
4. Being a Gentlemen
To determine if someone is a gentleman, one must look within them and not focus upon their material wealth. In the novel Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, three characters show qualities of a true gentleman. Pip and Joe have true gentlemen-like characteristics, which are shown through the way they live and present themselves. Pip's actions towards others are those of an authentic gentleman. For example, when Provis is very ill and Pip is very kind and says, "I will never stir from your side" (891). This shows that Pip is willing to forget his own comforts and future plans to sit by Provis's side, making Provis's last days on earth comfortable. In addition, Pip saves Miss Havisham when she gets caught on fire: "I had a double-caped coat on...and I got them over her" and "she was insensible and I was afraid to have her moved or even touched" (875). This proves that Pip cares for other people, even if they have treated him poorly. When Pip helps Miss Havisham, it shows his consideration to those in need. Pip relieving Miss Havisham from the fire after she was "coarse and common" towards him, shows Pip has a favorable heart. In conclusion, Pip's behavior towards others is that of a gentleman because Pip treats others with tenderness and affection. Joe's actions are those of a true gentleman. For example, Joe defends Mrs. Joe from Orlick even though he is scared of Orlick himself: "What could the wretched Joe do now...but stand up to his journeyman...so, without so much as pulling off their singed and burnt aprons, they went at one another, like two giants" (773). Joe is intimidated by Orlick and by Joe defending Mrs. Joe from Orlick shows that Joe has courageousness. Joe is a benevolent person by stepping up to Orlick to help Mrs. Joe. In addition, Joe pays off Pip's debts and Pip finds "a receipt for which they had been paid off". Joe paying off Pip's debts shows he is a helpful and caring person.
5. Shame
Pip despairs of his “condition of mind"(134), knowing that he despises his place at Joe's side even though the man has forever been good to him. He says that his way of looking at things has changed, which is why he is no longer happy with his surroundings. Shame is a feeling brought on by circumstances beyond the control of the person. For instance, Pip feels ashamed over how common he and Joe are. Pip begins the novel with feelings of guilt, but when Pip encounters Estella and Miss Havisham he starts to feel shame along with the guilt. Pip feels ashamed about how he is so common. He is ashamed that Joe is a measly blacksmith and has no education. Estella brings on the shame that Pip feels. Estella points out all of Pip's common mannerisms and treats Pip as an inferior, even though they are about the same age. She taunts Pip for calling knaves "Jacks" when they play cards, for wearing thick boots, and for having coarse hands. Estella demolishes his self-esteem. Pip thinks to himself, "I took the opportunity of being alone in the court yard, to look at my coarse hands and my common boots. My opinion of those accessories was not favorable. They had never troubled me before, but they troubled me now, as vulgar appendages"(62). From then on, Pip is ashamed of who he is and where he comes from. He doesn't see himself in the same light as he used to.
6. Criminality
The theme of crime, guilt, and innocence is explored throughout the novel largely through the characters of the convicts and the criminal lawyer Jaggers. From the handcuffs Joe mends at the smithy to the gallows at the prison in London, the imagery of crime and criminal justice pervades the book, becoming an important symbol of Pip’s inner struggle to reconcile his own inner moral conscience with the institutional justice system. In general, just as social class becomes a superficial standard of value that Pip must learn to look beyond in finding a better way to live his life, the external trappings of the criminal justice system (police, courts, jails, etc.) become a superficial standard of morality that Pip must learn to look beyond to trust his inner conscience. Magwitch, for instance, frightens Pip at first simply because he is a convict, and Pip feels guilty for helping him because he is afraid of the police. By the end of the book, however, Pip has discovered Magwitch’s inner nobility, and is able to disregard his external status as a criminal. Prompted by his conscience, he helps Magwitch to evade the law and the police. As Pip has learned to trust his conscience and to value Magwitch’s inner character, he has replaced an external standard of value with an internal one.
7. Loyalty
Loyalty is more important than a progressive increase in wealth and social status. Dickens makes this theme evident through the interactions of the characters, and by discovering the idea of wealth and self-improvement (specifically in social classes). The thesis can be discovered in situations such as Pip's awareness of his harsh treatment toward his loved ones, the loyalty that Joe and Biddy continued to have toward Pip, and the emptiness in the life of Estella Therefore, by investigating specific characters and their occurrences with each other it can become quite evident that the theme of loyalty; happiness; and love over wealth is clearly displayed through the novel.At a certain point in the novel Pip came to understand that affection and loyalty is more important than wealth and social status. For example, When Pip came to know that he had inherited a big fortune and that it was destined for him to become an honorable gentleman; he quickly packed for London and left the Forge without saying a proper good-bye. Although, in London when Pip got a very high fever and became ill it was Joe who came back and nursed Pip back to health and even paid off all of his remaining debts. This made Pip realize that even though he was tight and unkind to Joe, Joe still came back and took care of Pip while the rest of his money-hungry "friends" forgot about him. In addition, when Magwitch arrived at London he tells Pip that he is His benefactor. Full of affection and love towards Pip, Magwitch continues to tell Pip how he was the only thing in his life worth living for. Upon hearing this, Pip snootily thinks that Magwitch is just horrible and he gets repulsed just by looking at him.

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