Pip’s Ambitious Drive In Charles Dicken's Novel

1155 words - 5 pages

Nature and instinct of mankind harvests a constant craving, lust, and ambitious drive for self-improvement. The struggles of life to have one’s voice heard, make a difference, be loved and remembered, strives individuals to leave an eternal mark on mankind’s earth dwelling timeline. These motives keep us moving forward day by day. In the novel Great Expectations, Charles Dickens tells the tale of a glaringly ambitious orphan child “raised by hand” (5) elbowing his way up the social class ladder during the Victorian Era. The vicissitudes and unexpected events in his life, stand no chance against the instinctively driven and sustained determination that overpowers him. He is highly motivated and bluntly refuses to settle for anything other than the best. Pip is continuously challenged with a burning desire on his mind to outdo his own self and heighten his educational, social and, moral standards.
When Pip starts to regularly visit Miss. Havisham’s Satis House, he gradually apprehends how low his placement is in the social class. Miss. Havisham is a wealthy old lady out of touch with reality. She and her adopted daughter, Estella live in a mansion that is, theoretically, stopped in time. Estella is a beautiful girl, but don’t be fooled by the eye, beneath her beauty lies a terribly rude, cold-hearted monster raised to trick and manipulate the hearts of men. She victimized Pip, and constantly criticized him, making comments to attack and destruct Pip’s self-esteem. She sees him as nothing more than a common boy, and she takes pleasure in emotionally hurting Pip. “He calls the knaves, jacks this boy, and what coarse hands and thick boots” (63). Previously, Pip had thought everyone had called knaves jacks, but now that he knew the truth, he wanted to change his “common ways” and be more like Estella. “It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home…Within a single year, all this was changed. Now it was all coarse and common” (98). Unfortunately, his desire to impress Estella makes him ungrateful and blind to the things that once made him happy. On the bright side though, Pip became convinced to a destiny of successful gentility. “I promised myself that I would do something for them one of this days, and formed a plan in outline for bestowing a dinner of roast beef and plum pudding, a pint of ale, and a gallon of condescension, upon everybody in the village” (136). With the help of his benefactor, his dreams were granted. When he moved to London, his motivational pull became even stronger. With the help of his roommate Herbert, he learned the rights and wrongs of being a gentleman. For instance, "by mentioning that in London it is not the custom to put the knife in the mouth...He offered these friendly suggestions in such a lively way, that we both laughed and I scarcely blushed" (103). Throughout, the novel Pip climbs higher up the social class ladder to fulfill his gentility potential.
In Great Expectations, Pip rises...

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