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Great Expectations A Cinderella Story

1173 words - 5 pages

Great Expectations - A Cinderella Story

In the profound novel, Great Expectations, written by Charles Dickens,
the main character "Pip" is put through many tests that examine the
type of man Pip strives to be and the type of man Pip really is. Pip's
relationships with two central characters, Tom and Magwitch, are
examined closely in this essay, and through these relationships, Pip's
character is visible. Great Expectations is, in a sense, a Cinderella
story in which Pip's fairy godmother turns out to be a convict running
from the law. This "amulet" gives Pip a gift that changes Pip and his

In the beginning of the novel, Pip is a young boy that lives in an
inhospitable home with his older sister and her husband. Although
Pip's relationship with his sister is unkind, the relationship Pip
develops with her husband is affable. Pip's brother-in-law, Joe, has
taken Pip under his wing, and wants to take care of Pip. Critic
Christopher Morris writes, "Pip claims to have developed a solicitude
for Joe" in the opening of the novel, but later "that claim is
everywhere contradicted by his actions." One example that Morris
writes of to prove his point is, after Pip learns of the "selfless
rational for Joe's acquiescence in Mrs. Joe's government", Pip writes:

Young as I was, I believe that I dated a new admiration of Joe from
that night. We were equals afterwards, as we has been before: but
afterwards, at quiet times when I sat looking at Joe and thinking
about him, I had a new sensation of feeling conscious that I was
looking up to Joe in my heart.

(7, 52)3

Morris* points out the fact, that throughout the novel, this is the
only time Pip will regard Joe as his equal.

In chapter VIII, Pip is offered an invitation to a plantation where he
meets two influential people in his life, Miss Havisham and her
adopted daughter Estella. Over the course of many visits with these
two ladies, his idea of the standard of living feels inadequate to
Pip, and he longs to become a "gentleman". A new insight of Pip is
shown to the reader due to a glimpse the reader is given into Pip's
new perception of Joe's and his "thick boots and course hands" which
is revealed through Pip's internal dialogue:

I took the opportunity of being alone in the court-yard, to look at my
coarse hands and my common boots. My opinion of those accessories was
not favorable. They had never troubled me before, but they troubled me
now, as vulgar appendages… I whished Joe had been rather more
genteelly brought up, and then I should have been so too.

Through all of Tom's devotion to Pip, Pip time and time again shows
his ungratefulness towards Tom through his many actions. Tom's
relationship is important in Pip's life because Tom was Pip's
strength, although Pip never sees this.

Magwitch, a convict that becomes Pip's benefactor, is the second vital
person in Pip's life. Magwitch devotes his life to support Pip, and
becomes Pip's...

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