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He is amongst the most popular characters in English literaturewidely portrayed all over the world on stage and screen. Pip narrates his story many years after the events of the novel take place. The financial and social rise of the protagonist is accompanied by an emotional and moral deterioration, which finally forces Pip to recognize his negative expectations in a new self-awareness.
He lives in the marsh area of KentEngland, twenty miles from the sea. Five brothers died in infancy between them: Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias and Roger.
He says he was short for his age when he encountered the convicts at age seven, but when he is apprentice to Joe, he is taller and becomes very strong to master the work of a blacksmith. He is known to himself and to the world as Pip because his "infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip".
During the novel Pip goes through many changes in his personality, as he is influenced by various people. As a very young child he is a innocent young boy who does not mind the fact he is relatively low ranking in society. At around the age of eight, he meets a beautiful girl named Estella who is of the upper classPip falls in love with her, and becomes ashamed of his background and his relatives because he has such a different life to her.
When he is old enough he is bound apprentice to Joe. But he longs to be a gentleman, in a social class very different from a village blacksmith.
He suffers guilt for his ungrateful feelings toward Joe, who is a kind friend to him throughout his life. Once he moves to London, though his benefactor is not named, Pip is persuaded it is Miss Havisham, who means him to marry Estella.
He is not wise in spending the money he gets before he comes of age at 21, running up debts. His legal guardian is Mr.
Jaggers, a lawyer, who points out the difficulties Pip creates, but leaves it to Pip to guide his own life. He does not entirely lose his good character, which is expressed mainly in his relationship with his friend Bob Pocket.
Two years after Pip comes of age his benefactor appears in person, and it is the convict he met as a boy. Whose name he learns is Abel Magwitch. This deflates his hope that he is meant for Estella and at first disgusts him, as he knows nothing about what sort of criminal the man is.
Despite his disgust and disappointment, the sense of duty that compels Pip to help the convict is a mark of his inner goodness, just as it was when Pip first met him at age seven.
After Abel Magwitchthe convict, dies and the Crown confiscates his fortune, Pip, aged 23,  understands that good clothes, well-spoken English and a generous allowance do not make one a gentleman.
Pip falls ill for several weeks; Joe learns of this and comes to care for him until he can walk on his own. A few days after Joe leaves, Pip goes home, to find Biddy has married Joe that very day. Without income or training for any profession, he is at loose ends.
Herbert Pocket suggests Pip join the firm where he works, in an office in Cairo. Pip starts as a clerk.
Herbert marries his fiancee Clara, and Pip lives with them. There is irony in this, as Pip used his gift at age 21 of pounds to engage Herbert with the new firm. When Pip lost his funds, he asked Miss Havisham to complete the money owed, and she does. Joe ends up paying the rest of the debt that Pip is unable to pay.
Eleven years later, Pip returns to England to see Joe, Biddy and their children. He walks to the land where Satis House once stood and meets Estella there. Both have changed much from their experience of life. After they reconcile, they hold hands, and Pip sees no shadow to part them again.Professor John Bowen discusses class and social mobility in Charles Dickens’s novel, Great Expectations.
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