Great Expectations

Pip's Influences In Great Expectations

It is difficult to classify the personality of any one person as being entirely one way or another. So, too, it is difficult to classify a rich, round character like Pip in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations as being essentially passionate or essentially moderate. While, as Robert R. Garnett asserts in his essay "The good and the unruly in Great Expectations - and Estella," there is an apparent distinction between these "two mutually exclusive parties - the moderate and those governed by unruly passions" (25), it is not so facile to apply this categorization with Pip, whose only connection to the latter category is caused by Miss Havisham's influence. An author may choose to reveal only certain aspects of a character's personality or exaggerate specific qualities in order to achieve an effect, giving that character a seemingly simplistic nature, as perhaps is the case with Joe or Miss Havisham. Pip, however, makes distinct development throughout the course of the novel and, as such, must be considered carefully before a label can be applied to him. Consequently, rather than being the result of his own actions, Pip's apparent unruliness is more the product of the detrimental influence of...

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