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An Analysis of Pip in Great Expectations

对远大前程中主人公皮普的分析

An Analysis of Pip in Great Expectations

Great Expectations is one of Charles Dickens novels in the later period of his writing. It is a grow-up story that revolves around the life of one man, Pip. This book presents us with all the important events that happen to Pip from his childhood to his adulthood, during which he establishes his great expectations and experiences the disillusionment of his aspirations. The great changes of Pip s character along with the different social circumstances, living conditions, and acquaintances and friends he has met with constitute a major part of this novel. Therefore, this essay will provide you with some of my interpretations about Pip s character.

According to Pip s life period, his character can be roughly divided into four stages: as a child, as an apprentice, as a “gentleman” and as a loser yet a sober.

As a Child

When he is still a child, he is innocent, kind, generous and hard-working.

As an orphan, he is raised by his sister, who treats him badly. His brother-in-law (Joe), however, is a good-natured, hard-working and honest person who gets along well with and cares for Pip. As a child, his character is mainly influenced by Joe. After stealing some food and a file for the prisoner, Pip feels enormously guilty of what he has done. “Then, as I looked up at it, while it dripped, it seemed to my oppressed conscience like a phantom devoting me to the Hulks.” (Chapter 3)

When Pip sees the prisoner, who has threatened him to bring some food, gobbling all at once, he feels happy instead of bearing grudge toward him. “Pitying his desolation, and watching him as he gradually settled down upon the pie, I made bold to say, I am glad you enjoy it. ” (Chapter 3)

A major event that happens to Pip during his childhood is his visiting of Miss Havisham, which has exerted great influences on his later life. It is at Miss Havisham s house that he meets Estella, whom he falls in love with at first sight and he strives to be a match with. Being despised and insulted by Estella, Pip is determined to learn some knowledge to become an outstanding man. “The felicitous idea occurred to me a morning or two later when I woke, that the best step I could take towards making myself uncommon was to get out of Biddy everything she knew.” (Chapter 10)

From then on, he devotes himself to studying and makes considerable progress.

As an Apprentice

As an apprentice to Joe, Pip is tolerant, sincere yet much more ambitious.

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