Pip's Aspirations in Great Expectations
Great Expectations is the account of a young boy’s transition into adulthood as Pip, the central character, searches for contentment. Born into no particular wealth or distinction, he may have lived wholly satisfied with his modest pedigree had it not been for his association with Miss Havisham and consequently Estella. It was with Estella’s bold expression of “contempt” for Pip’s “coarse” appearance that a shadow of discontent was cast over his menial existence. Pip was rapidly overwhelmed by this darkness; it incited in him aspirations towards a brighter, more “uncommon,”“gentlemanly” existence. This paper traces Pip’s attempts to reach that status and how he ultimately finds contentment.
The novel begins with Pip as the quintessential innocent, but his parents’ deaths and his encounter with an escaped convent quickly initiate Pip to his difficult journey to adulthood. This opening incident triggers the restlessness that governs a majority of the novel’s tone.
The impressionable Pip becomes disillusioned upon his first excursion to the ironically named Satis house. Pip is deeply affected by the abovementioned slight from the shrewd, alluring Estella; his overwhelmed heart becomes the most prominent influence on his young life....
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