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Great Expectations Essay

1624 words - 7 pages

Throughout our lives we meet people who go through many changes as they advance further in society; some changes are for the better of the individual, others not so much. These changes can be caused by monetary gain, advancements in their field of work, or a group of new friends. For example, in the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Pip goes through many changes in hopes of appeasing the heart and standards of the gorgeous yet cold-hearted Estella, changes such as being eager to self-improve, becoming snobby, and being shameful of his origins.
From very early in the novel you discover that Pip is ambitious to better himself. For example, after confronting Estella he wishes to ...view middle of the document...

Pocket/ advised my attending certain places in London for the acquisition of such mere rudiments as I wanted, and my investing him with the functions of explainer and director of all my studies.” (214). Once Pip has made himself at home in his new living quarters he and Mr. Pocket have a conversation about how he will be doing things while in London so he can become more acquainted with ‘high society’. Pip places Mr. Pocket in charge of his studies in order that he can reach his full potential in becoming a man of high class and ultimately be appealing to Estella. For the most part, Pip only becomes eager for self-improvement due to the fact that he realizes by improving himself he will bring himself closer to getting into Estella’s heart.
It appears that once Pip becomes exposed to ‘high society’ at Miss Havisham’s he starts to become snobby. From there his level of snobbery increases steadily throughout his journey. A shining example of Pip being snobby is when he and Joe confront each other in London, “As to his shirt, and his coat collar, they were perplexing to reflect upon – insoluble mysteries both. Why should a man scrape himself to that extent before he could consider himself full dressed? Why should he suppose it necessary to be purified by suffering for his holiday clothes?” (242). Here it seems that Pip is looking down upon the clothing that Joe is wearing as if it is inferior to his own. Also, the last portion of the quote seems that Pip is expressing that why did Joe even bother dressing in his nice clothes he would have looked better in his work clothes. Another example would be when Pip and Estella are conversing and she brings up Pip’s new friendship with the Pale young gentlemen, “Since your change of fortune and prospects, you have changed your companions,” said Estella.
"In my conscience, I doubt very much whether I had any lingering intention left of going to see Joe; but if I had, this observation put it to flight” (257). In this quote Pip is being snobby when he states he is naturally changing his acquaintances. The funny thing is that he is even acknowledging that as he climbs the social ladder he must abandon his old friendships, such as his companionship with Joe, so those from his past do not make him look bad in front of his new high society acquaintances. After Estella tells Pip what is good and bad company for him he decides not to make the trips back home to see Joe. It seems he does this so he can show Estella how he is changing so he can be more appealing to her. Once again, Pip gets a snobby attitude towards Trabb’s boy when he is trying to embarrass him: “Casting my eyes along the street at a certain point of progress, I beheld Trabb’s boy approaching. / I advanced with that expression of countenance, and was rather congratulating my self on my success. / as I passed him, his teeth loudly chattered in his head, and with every mark of extreme humiliation he prostrated himself in the dust” (266). When Pip...

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