This quotation shows the vanity and snobbishness that Pip now possesses, we see that Pip has lost all the compassion that we noticed in the start of Book One. Pip does not seem to care about Joe and Biddy’s feelings, thinking he is better than all of them. In Book One of Great Expectations we notice that Pip’s snobbish character has derived from his yearning ambition to become a gentleman and a person of a higher class than he is presently.
We see one of the of main reasons why Pip wants to become a gentleman is because he idolises the life that Miss Havisham and Estella live at Satis House:
Miss Havisham and Estella and the strange house and the strange life appeared to have something to do with everything that was picturesque. He believes Satis house to be the doorway to the ‘picturesque’ life he sees himself living. He is impressed by all the wealth, glamour and beauty, idolising it.
He makes it his ambition to raise himself to meet their standards of life. This urging to be uncommon causes Pip to become ‘dissatisfied’ with his life. Pip feels that he is socially inept. We also see Pip develop his snobbish attitudes due to the way he is influenced by other characters.
The character that influences Pip the most we see to be Estella: “With this boy! Why, he is a common labouring-boy! ” From the very first time we read of her, the reader learns that Estella is a snob herself.
She is condescending, scornful and adopts a superior manner and attitude; she feels she is better than ‘boy’ (Pip). We see Pip adopting Estella’s dismissive attitude, leading him to be something of a snob. The reader notices that Pip takes these harsh comments very seriously as he kicks his ‘thick’ boots into the wall in dismay.
Pip has fallen in love with Estella; he aspires to be loved by Estella adopting some of her attitudes. We see that Pip does not want Estella as his is at his ‘commonest and grimiest’ he wants to make sure she will never see him like that because she ‘would exult over [him] and despise [him]’. His love for her is causing him to become a snob. The actions at Satis House have an exaggerated effect on Pip’s desire to be uncommon: “Who let you in? ‘ said he. ” Pip notices that he does not fit in with the people at Satis House; he stands out.
Pip realises this and so makes him want to be part of this lifestyle even more, because of this we see him become ‘[disgusted] with [his] calling and [his] life’ leading to his snobbish attitudes. We also see him taking into consideration Camilla’s obsession that only the outside appearance counts. He feels that he must correct his ‘labouring’ appearance: We also see Pip adopting some of his snobbish attitudes, and his self-confidence from the people close to him. We see Uncle Pumblechook to have the characteristics of a snob. He looks up to people of an upper class.
We see Pip almost adopting this attitude and also aspiring to be of an upper class. We see this cause him to be very vain towards his ‘common’ class. Even though it is clear to the reader that Pip has become something of a snob by the end of Book One, Dickens still manages to retain the reader’s sympathy for him. Firstly we notice that towards the end of Book One Pip is has many false delusions about what is going on around him: “Miss Havisham was going to make my fortune on a grand scale. ” We see Pip getting very confused as to what is going on around him.
Pip thinks that it is Miss Havisham that has sent for him to go to London. We see later on in the book that is it actually Magwitch. The reader gets the impression that Pip is confused by all the actions taking place around him. The reader feels sympathy for him due to these ‘fixed delusions’ that Pip is suffering from. We see Pip suffering from guilt he feels looking back on what he did. He feels that he was too ready to leave Joe and Biddy and feels he did not thank them properly for what they had done for him.
This is the case as we see at the end of the novel Pip apologising to Joe and Biddy for this: Don’t tell him, Joe that I was thankless; don’t tell him Biddy, that I was ungenerous and unjust; only tell him that I honoured you both, because you were both so good and true. The consideration of Joe’s and Biddy’s feelings that Pip takes into account conveys a sense of good heartedness about Pip cancelling out the bad things that he had done. Pip is shown to be outwardly snobbish but inwardly we see he has doubts. He feels ‘miserable’ to be ‘ashamed of home’.
This leads the reader to like him. We also notice that the reader retains their sympathy for Pip by the way he feels guilty and has reservations about leaving Joe and Biddy to go to London: I deliberated with an aching heart whether I would not get down when we changed horses and walk back. We see Pip almost have a change in heart and character when he contemplates going back to Joe and Biddy. Pip’s much more thoughtful, considerate character is not one that we would contemplate to be snobbish. Pip ‘had cried’ at the time of his leaving, showing his more sensitive emotional side.
The reader prefers this to the much more snobbish outward feelings shown by Pip, making the reader still like him. We notice that Pip is picked on, bullied by Estella: “He calls knaves, Jacks, this boy! ” The reader sees Pip suffering emotionally from Estella’s harsh comments. This suffering that Pip endures at the hands of Estella causes the reader to sympathise with him, leading to the reader liking him. The fact that Pip is an orphan causes the reader to sympathise with him because he has no real parents and his only family being his snobbish sister makes the reader like him.
We see this point emphasised when Magwitch is threatening to kill Pip in the first chapter of the book, he becomes less aggressive and more sympathetic when Pip tells him his mother is laying in the graveyard. In the very first chapter of Great Expectations we notice Pip’s very witty character: If you would kindly please to let me keep upright, sir, perhaps I shouldn’t be sick, and perhaps I could attend more. In the above quotation we see Pip being witty to an escaped convict who is threatening to kill him. This part of his character pleases the reader by displaying Pip’s courage and boldness.
We notice that Pip is not always to blame for some of the less favourable acts he commits. We sometimes see Pip being used to fulfil other characters ambitions; this is illustrated when Magwitch forces to ‘get [him] a file’ and to get ‘[him] wittles’. The fact that Pip is being used against his own will makes the reader feel sympathy for him. Throughout Book One of Great Expectations we see Pip depicted as a vain snob. The reader realises this due to the false sense of social position that he gains and his willingness to dismiss his own community.
The reader notices this increased snobbishness in Pip is due to his desire to become a gentleman and aspire to be loved by Estella and to live up to the standards required at Satis House. Towards the end of Book One the reader is able to retain their sympathy for him, we see that as he looks back from an older age he is very sorry for the way he treated Joe and Biddy. We take sympathy for him when Magwitch and Estella pick him on. The reader starts to admire him for his boldness and witty character.