Pip in Dickens' Great Expectations
I agree that all the adults Pip meet fail him in some way. The first
character Pip comes in contact with in the novel is Mrs Joe. Rather
than mothering Pip and giving him all the care and attention he never
got she neglects him and treats him very roughly. She had brought Pip
up "by hand" and used "Tickler" on him a number of times. She never
says anything pleasant to Pip and I think that she thinks he
interrupts with her relationship with Joe. Mrs Joe says that Pip was
not to be "Pompeyed" - pampered. This was what most parents do do to
their own children, but Mrs Joe makes sure Pip doesn't have an easy
life. He does occasional jobs for local people in which he was to
"frighten birds, or pick up stones, or do any such job". Even though
it is Pip whom earns the money, he doesn't get a share of it as Mrs
Joe kept a money box "on the kitchen shelfâ€¦..were to be contributed
eventually towards liquidation of the National Debt." "I know I had no
hope of any personal participation in the treasure."
Joe lets Pip down by being too soft to Mrs Joe. Pip relies on Joe to
protect him from Mrs Joe, and he does his best but he always stands up
for Mrs. Joe and makes excuses for her. He feels Joe has let him doing
by being common and bringing Pip up to be common, have coarse hands
and thick boots and to call "knaves" "jacks". "I wish Joe had been
rather more genteelly brought up, and then I should have been so too."
"I wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common, that he night be
worthier of my society and less open to Estella's reproach."
Joe lets Pip down when they go to Miss Havisham's and Joe only
addresses Pip, and this embarrasses him. Pip wants to make a good
impression to Miss Havisham, and especially Estella but she "stood at
the back on Miss Havisham's chair, and that her eyes laughed
Magwitch confuses Pip a lot of the time. He threatens to cut his
throat, and on the other hand when Pip says "I am glad you enjoyed it"
he says "thankee my boy, I do." "he gave me a look I did not
understand." I think he also lets Pip down by scaring him so much and
threatening that if Pip betrays Magwitch a strange man will come and
eat his heart and liver, that he hardly sleeps as he is so terrified.
Herbert gives Pip a very heavy conscience and makes Pip feel like he
had no choice but to fight Herbert even though he didn't really want
to. "His manner was so final and I was so astonished, that I followed
where he led, as if I had been under a spell." "I was secretly afraid
of him." The fight between Herbert and Pip makes Pip paranoid that the
"Law would avenge it" and that Pip would be shot, or imprisoned. "he
made me believe he really was going to do for me at last." Pip thinks
Herbert was going to kill him and so therefore does not think...