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Analysis of Major Characters in Great Expectations Essay

Pip is the main character of this story. The whole plot of the novel revolves around him and his metamorphosis into an adult from an immature adolescent. 1. Immature: pip was highly immature. This characteristic in him can be clearly seen in pg 59 where he says ” but when she was gone, I looked about me for a place to hide my face in and got behind one of the gates in the brewery lane and leaned my sleeve angst the wall there, and leaned my forehead on it and cried. As I cried, I kicked the wall and took a hard twist at my hair; so bitter were my feelings so sharp were the smart without a name that needed counteraction.”

Pip cries so much, suddenly begins to have such a low self esteem, why? Just because a girl came and commented that he had coarse hands, wore thick boots and “called the knaves Jack.” Instead of standing up for himself, pip simply cries. This goes to show how immature pip was. Pip’s immaturity is also seen in his “romantic idealism.” Ever since his first meeting with beautiful Estella, he always thought of her in page 101 he says, “often after dark, when I was pulling the bellows for Joe, and we were singing Old Clem, and the thought how we used to sing at Miss Haveshams would seem to show me Estella’s face in the fire, with her pretty hair fluttering in the wind and her face scorning at me. Often at such a time I would look towards those panels of black night in the wall which the wooden windows then were, and would fancy that I saw her drawing her face away and would believe that she had come at last.” In spite of Estella being so insulting he instantly falls for her, rather for her looks. This again shows the immaturity in pip.

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2. Generous and sympathetic: pip was generous and sympathetic, a fact that can be seen in his numerous acts of kindness throughout the novel. In page ___ he sympathizes with Magwitch and helps him escape. A small boy going out of his way to help a wretched convict! This goes to show how sympathetic pip was. Not just sympathetic, pip was large at heart. He was generous. This can be witnessed in page _____ where he secretly buys Herbert’s way into business. The third example to show that pip was generous is in page 137where he says, “as I passed the church I felt a sublime compassion for the poor creatures who were destined to go there, Sunday after Sunday, all their lives thru and to lie obscurely at last among the low green mounds. I promised myself that I would do something for them one of these days and formed a plan in outline for bestowing a dinner of roast beef and plum pudding, a pint of ale and a gallon of condescension upon everybody in the village.”

3. Had a great desire for self-improvement: pip always wanted to better himself, better his condition and better his status. This trait in him can be witnessed in page 66 where he tells Joe, “and that there had been a beautiful young lady at miss Havesham’s who was dreadfully proud and that she had said I was common, and that I wished I was not common, and that the lies had come of it somehow, though I didn’t know how.”

Moreover his deep desire to improve in life, to be “Uncommon” is also seen in page 68 where he goes to one of his relatives, Biddy to get educated from her. He says, “when I woke up the best step I could take towards making myself uncommon was to get out of Biddy everything she knew.” In page 164 he asks Herbert to correct his mannerisms if he found them un-gentlemanly. He says, “I further mentioned that as I had been brought up a blacksmith in a country place, and knew very little of the ways of politeness, I would take it is a great kindness in him i.e. Herbert if he would give me a hint when ever he saw me going at a loss or going wrong.”

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