In Chapter Thirty, Pip is vexed by Trabb’s Boy, who impersonates him by putting on a cape and saying ‘Sorry, don’t know yah’. This annoys Pip, so he sends a letter to Trabb complaining about the boy. He got Trabb’s boy dismissed. A real gentleman, such as Herbert would have learnt to deal with this scene and would have left it there rather than complaining. In Chapter Thirty-One, Pip sees Mr Wopsle perform Hamlet at a theatre. Although the performance is poor, Pip is very comforting to Mr.
Wopsle and invites him to supper with himself and Herbert, despite Pip not particularly liking Mr Wopsle.
This shows the sign of a gentleman; a lesser gentleman would have told Wopsle that his acting was terrible. Pip and Wopsle have in the Play have many similarities, e. g. Mr Wopsle is completely out of depth as being Hamlet, and Pip is completely out of Depth being in London, which he does not realise.
Estella certainly sees Pip as a gentleman now, when she first saw him she called him ‘coarse and common’, then after he went to London she told him, ‘What was fit company for you once, would be quite unfit company for you now’ (Chapter Twenty-Nine).
But Pip is not a real gentleman yet as he does not have independence from his benefactor, Estella tells him this in Chapter Thirty-Three, ‘We have no choice, you and I, but to obey our instructions. We are not free to follow our own devices’.
This does not necessarily make Pip any less of a gentleman, as this is beyond his own control, and soon he will be independent from his benefactor. Pip fails as a gentleman morally in Chapter Thirty-Four; his lavish lifestyles have forced his roommate and dear friend Herbert into debt.
Pip’s behaviour ‘corrupted the simplicity of this life and disturbed his peace with anxieties and regrets’. He has made Herbert buy ‘incongruous upholstery work’ for his chamber, before ‘they were sparsely furnished. ‘ (Chapter Thirty-Four. ) He has got Herbert into at least one hundred and sixty four pounds of debt, and feels guilty as a result When Pip returns to the village, he firstly visits Miss Havisham and Estella, he knows that he should spend the night at Joe’s house, but he now feels guilty about neglecting Joe and Biddy, so he stays at the inn instead.
He calls himself a ‘self swindler’ for doing so. This shows that Pip is still a snob with the working class. Pip returns to Joe and Biddy for the funeral of his sister after she was murdered by Orlick (unknown to Pip at this time). He is still a snob; Biddy calls him ‘Mr Pip’, and Pip does not try to stop her from doing this. He is spending lavishly again, he tells Biddy to ‘spend any money’ (Chapter Thirty-Five) to drive Orlick out of the country. He does not succeed. Biddy distrusts Pip, and Pip replies to this by being pompous.
This chapter shows that Pip is not being too successful as a gentleman, he is still being snobbish and looking down on people. In Chapter Thirty-Seven, Pip thinks of someone other than himself for one of the first times since he first arrived at London. He buys five hundred pounds of stock, and gives half of this to Herbert, though Pip will be his unknown benefactor like Magwitch is to him. This shows that Pip can be successful as a gentleman morally. Herbert has got no money, but has expectations like Pip. He plans to finance his gentlemanly style through business deals.
His expectations are much more realistic than Pip’s. For a gentleman to succeed he needs to be sensible and realistic, like Herbert, and not a spendthrift with no idea of the future like Pip. To start with, Pip is not a successful gentleman in London, as he is not accepted socially by the majority of the upper class Londoners. He does not socialise much with other gentleman in London, therefore few gentleman have actually heard of him. His guardian is Mr Jaggers, but he is not a gentleman of leisure, so this does not elevate Pip’s social standing.
There are few mentions of Pip socialising in London with other gentlemen except with Herbert and his fellow students at Mr Pocket’s. In Victorian England (when this book was written and set) a gentleman was usually born a gentleman. Pip was not – he had very humble origins. When Pip encounters Bentley Drummle in Kent, Drummle has an idea about Pip’s early life; he refers to ‘smithies’ (Chapter Forty-Three). If Drummle released this information to other gentlemen, Pip’s social standings would plummet, but we do not know whether Drummle did this or not before he died.
As Pip does not have a title, or is not in line to a title, he is not that high up the social standings either, compared to people such as Bentley Drummle who ‘is an heir but one’ to a baronetcy In Chapter Thirty-Nine, the identity of Pip’s benefactor is revealed. The convict that Pip first met in the churchyard when he was a child, Magwitch reveals himself to Pip as his benefactor. Pip nearly collapses in shock, he could not speak, and his muscles went rigid so that he could not support himself. He is dismayed by the identity of his benefactor, as Magwitch is a British convict, who was deported to Australia.
This makes him less of a gentleman socially and morally, socially as Magwitch is a criminal, as a result other gentleman will not accept Pip as a gentleman for this reason. He is not a gentleman morally as a result of Pip being a gentleman, Magwitch is now quite poor and in poverty as he sent all of his money to Pip. Pip now feels ‘chained’ (Chapter Forty) to Magwitch. Pip thought that his benefactor was Miss Havisham, and if this were the case he would be more of a gentleman as she is an upper class lady, who got her money legally in Britain.
She adopted Estella, and Pip thought that she planned to bring Pip and Estella together, perhaps to destroy his heart. Pip feels depressed after the news of Magwitch, he no longer feels like a gentleman, socially especially. He illustrates this point by saying in Chapter Forty-One: ‘I have been bred for no calling, and I am fit for nothing. ‘ He is also heavily in debt; this also makes him less successful as a gentleman morally and socially. In Chapter Forty-Seven, Compeyson, the other convict sits behind Pip in a play starring Mr Wopsle.
Mr Wopsle thought that perhaps they were together, ‘I had a ridiculous fancy that he must be with you Mr Pip. ‘ Mr Wopsle feels that it is a ridiculous that a convict would be with Pip, this is just an indicator of how Pip’s social standing would decline if other gentleman of upper or middle class found out about Magwitch. Also in Chapter 39, Pip realises of his ‘worthless conduct’ that he showed to Joe and Biddy, he finally realises that he has been a bit of a snob. One of the effects of Magwitch is that Pip is now less of a snob, as his benefactor is a convict; he cannot look down at other people as much.
This makes him more of a gentleman morally. Pip does another good act in Chapter Forty-Nine by saving Miss Havisham from burning to death, despite what she has done to him (tried to make Estella break his heart). This shows that he can put feelings aside to assist someone in trouble. Estella is now married to Bentley Drummle, who treats her fairly badly. Pip did want to marry her, if he did, this may have made him less of a gentleman socially, as we learn that Estella’s biological father is Magwitch, the convict, and her mother is Jagger’s servant.
This would make Estella less of an upper class women socially if other gentleman and ladies found out about it, despite her being Miss Havisham’s adopted daughter. Therefore, if Pip married her, he may become less of a gentleman socially. In Chapter Fifty-Three, Orlick traps Pip in a shack near the limekilns back in Kent near Pip’s hometown. Orlick has a gun and informs Pip that he will kill him and then burn his body in the limekilns. Pip is not afraid of dying or seeing the end of his expectations; he only feels that Herbert Magwitch, Joe and Biddy may feel that he has deserted them.
He does not want Magwitch to feel this. If Pip was to die, Magwitch would likely be caught, and then probably hung. Pip does not want this to happen. This shows that when faced with death, he is more concerned about others rather than himself. He has now become less selfish. Pip is saved by Trabb’s boy, Hebert and Startop. Pip rewards Trabb’s boy, who finds Pip, and learns to respect Trabb’s boy for who he is, not his class. Pip has now become attached to his benefactor Magwitch, although when he first found out Magwitch was his benefactor, he was depressed.
He has now learnt to respect and admire him for whom he is and what he has done for Pip, and realises that he must be protected at all costs, even from the law, ‘My mind was set wholly on Provis’s safety’. Pip has put Magwitch to temporary safety at Mill Bank Pond, but needs to get him out of the country, e. g. ‘Now my repugnance to him 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 great constancy through a series of years.
I only saw in him a better man that I had been to Joe. ‘ Pip’s attempt to get Magwitch out of the country fails, and Magwitch is badly wounded. He is taken away to await his trial. Magwitch is dying, and Pip vows to him to be as loyal to him as he had been to Pip. Pip is now clearly not a snob, he is treating everyone he meets the same, no matter the class. He has learnt what really matters is loyalty. He regrets not being kind to Magwitch when he first arrived, and wishes that he was as kind to Joe and Biddy as Magwitch was to him.
He calls Joe a ‘gentle Christian man’, and now probably envies Joe for what he has got rather than look down on him. Pip is now morally a gentleman; he is no longer a snob and is unselfish. After Magwitch died, Pip became more depressed again. He fell severely ill with all the worries he had; Magwitch, Estella being married, all of his debts, and later, the death of Miss Havisham etc. Much to Pip’s surprise, he has a visitor, Joe who is still as loyal to him as ever. This makes Pip feel even guiltier for when Pip shunned Joe. Pip starts to recover, and Joe leaves back for the forge, felling that Pip would be better off without him.
Pip finds a receipt showing that Joe has paid off all of Pip’s debts. This shows that Joe is a moral gentleman perhaps rather than Pip. Although Pip’s attitudes are all now changed, he is still shocked by what Joe has done, he knows that he must repay him some day. Pip is now morally a gentleman; he knows what is right and wrong, and what he has to do to repay Joe. Pip returns to the forge with the intention of asking Biddy’s hand in marriage. Much to his shock, Biddy and Joe have just wed. He therefore decides that he has no alternative but to leave the country.
He joins Herbert and his wife Clara in the East in their company to earn money to pay back Joe, firstly as a clerk for Clarriker. He eventually rises to third in the company. He fully repays all of his debts and learns a new, hardworking way of life. Herbert’s firm is a great success due to Pip’s hard work and Herbert’s efficiency. Although Pip is no longer a social gentleman, as he is now a working middle class, he must surely be a moral gentleman, due to his newfound loyalty and hard work. In the final chapter, Pip revisits the forge, where he finds Joe and Biddy’s son, also named Pip.
Pip visits the land where Satis house once stood – it was torn down after Miss Havisham died. He meets Estella (whose husband, Drummle was killed two years earlier in a horsing accident), who has also come there for the last time in 11 years. The novel ends with this sentence, ‘I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and as the morning mists has risen long ago when I first left the forge, so, the evening mists were rising now, and on all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her’.
This sentence may indicate that Pip and Estella may get married, which would be an appropriate ending for this novel. Although Pip does become quite successful as a gentleman in the latter stages of his Expectations, other characters in Great Expectations may seem more of a gentleman than Pip. Herbert Pocket is the gentleman in the novel. He has an upper class education, he is very honest (which he inherits from his father). He is in love with Clara, showing that he, unlike Pip is not a snob (he fortunately appears not to have inherited his mother’s snobbery).
He is a loyal friend to all, willing to help people (e. g. helping Pip learn manners). Although he does not have much money, he is a gentleman morally and socially, and especially at heart, inheriting his father’s view of a gentleman; ‘No man who was not a true gentleman at heart, ever was, since the world began, a true gentleman in manner. ‘ Compared to Herbert (who was in a similar position to Pip in the middle stage of Pip’s expectations), he has not been too successful as a gentleman. Even compared to Joe Gargery, Pip can be described as less of a gentleman.
Joe is not a gentleman socially, but without a doubt is morally. Described as the ‘gentle Christian man’ by Pip, Joe is not a snob and recognises Magwitch as a ‘fellow creature’ when he is lead away to the prison ships in the early stages of the book. Joe has worked all of his life for little money, despite this he is always cheerful to everyone he meets, he is also loyal to them – he is loyal to Pip despite Pip shunning him when ever they meet. Joe has the heart of a gentleman. He reminds us that a gentleman does not have to have social standings; primarily he has to be a ‘gentle man.
‘ From his adventures, Pip has learnt many things, for example, he has learnt to treat people by what they do and say, rather than what class they are in. He has learnt that money is not the most important thing in life, in fact the times when he had most money he was very unhappy. For the future, Pip wants to lead a normal, average life, treating others fairly, to fulfil his purpose in the world. In conclusion, Pip’s success as a gentleman varies, to start with he was very unsuccessful as a gentleman, he was immoral, and snobbish. He was affected by the money in his possession.
He disowned previous friends such as Biddy and Joe, who still kept loyal to him, showing that loyalty is deeper than money. When Magwitch revealed himself as his benefactor, Pip began to lose his snobbish ways, and learnt to admire and respect people for who they are. Near the end of his expectations, he became a moral gentleman, but not a social gentleman as he has been earlier, as he had lost all of his money, and ended up as a middle class worker, working as a manager in the Middle East. The real gentleman in this novel is Herbert, who is always a moral and social gentleman.
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