The story is set in a dark and dreary graveyard where we meet Pip, he is sitting by his parents grave on Christmas Eve, he was a fragile and lonely little boy. He seemed to be all alone and and not a child with such a great childhood, but not very many people those days had a happy childhood unless they were quite well off. Pip seems caught up in the death of his parents and he was always trying to picture them by the way the tombstone is written and the inscriptions given, as in those days photographs weren’t the in things in those days. ‘my fancies regarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstones . The shape of the letters on my father’s, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, ‘Also Georgina Wife of the Above,’ I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly.’
We gathered that he lost his parents at a very young age and we know this because he is only seven or eight years old, since his parents died and his older sister had to look after him, which she was never to happy about, she was also married to the blacksmith, Joe. Pip’s sister has no respect for him and she is constantly beating him up with a wax-ended piece of cane and they reffered to it as the ‘Tickler’, not only would she beat up and bully Pip but, her own husband,Joe, too. ‘she brought me up ‘by hand’. Having at the time to find out what the expression meant, and knowing her to have a very hard and heavy hand, and to be much in the habit of laying it upon her husband as well as upon me,’. Pip has had a very strict upbringing by Mrs Joe. Pip and Joe became very good friends they only became this close because Joe treated Pip as a he would if it was a friend and they were always there for each other, and this seemed to be one of his only friends at this point in the story, he always looked up to Joe and wanted to be a blacksmith, when he was older, just like Joe. Pip saw Joe as an a older version of a child and treated him as an no more than an equal. Joe and Pip were also both very scared of Mrs Joe as she would continuosly beat up both of them. Pip’s family were never to well off and therefore they lived in a poor area, in ‘the marsh country, down by the river’.
As a little boy Pip has not had an easy life up and until he went to London and he enjoyed learning how to be a gentlemen, but throughout his adulthood but throughout his adulthood he always thought that was a major part of his life. He grew therefore to be a snob and he also forgot his background, who actually was.
Pip did not have an easy life because as he was growing up he had to do practically all the chores and he couldn’t go out to play like other children his age as he was not permitted to do so by his sister and if he went against what his sister said thenhe would be beaten with the cane.
When Pip met Magwitch, an escaped prisoner, he is very scared and is frightened at first then he only feels sorry for Magwitch and wants to help him. Magwitch threatens to hurt Pip if he didn’t get him some ‘whittles’ (food) and a ‘file’ (knife). This shows how desperate he was and how he would even threaten a little boy. Magwitch makes Pip swear that he will return the following early morning with the food and the knife, he demanded or he would kill him and eat his insides.
‘the question being wheather your’e to be let to live.’ ‘your heart and your liver shall be tore, out, roasted and ate’. ‘say lord strike you down if you don’t!’
In the morning as Pip sneeks the food and himself out of the house but as he is running to get to meet Magwitch, his concious kept saying to him that he is going to get caught, Mrs Joe will wake up and find that Pip and the pie has gone and that has is steeling it. ‘A boy with somebody-else’s pork pie’! Stop him!’ Pip then also sees this other man, thinking it was Magwitch Pip went up to him and started to talk to him but then realised it was someone else and with this Pip was a little startled by this. The other man ran off and Pip carried on looking for Magwitch. Pip meets up with Magwitch and gives him a pork pie and a knife with some brandy.”What’s in the bottle, boy?’ When Pip watches Magwitch drink he notices that he has the agues which is like a fever and he couldn’t stop shaking.
Pip has the up most respect for Magwitch and he feels sorry for him and he also feels that it is up to him to help him. Even Joe knowing he was a criminal didn’t want to see him go without, but on the otherhand if it were Mrs Joe she would rather him go hungry than sit and help him out.
Pip meets Estella for the first time when he is invited to Miss Havisham’s house to ‘play’. When Pip arrives at Miss Havisham’s house he meets Estella and she is the Miss Havisham’s adopted daughter. Miss Havisham is a bitter and twisted woman. Her story was that she was going to get married to a man but he left her at the altar she always thought that everyone was laughing at her so therefore she never left her house she never even got up from her chair she stayed in the same wedding dress since she got stood up and this made her rescent all men even though he is a little boy. Her plan for Pip was cruel and harsh, she wanted Pip to fall in love with Estella so then Estella could break young Pip’s heart, the way Miss Havisham’s was broken. Lucky for Miss Havisham her plan had started to work Pip had fallen in love with Estella the first time he clocked eyes on her.
He sees Estella as pretty, a little proud, but she is a lady which is the reason he needs to improve his life by becoming a gentlemen, so that Estella would love him back. ‘the young lady, who was very pretty and seemeed very proud;’ Estella was brought up as a proper lady and thinks that Pip is beneath her, she always refers to him as “boy” and always put him down. “Boy! Let your behaviour here be a credit unto them which brought you up by hand!” and ‘With this boy! Why, he is a common labouring boy?’ All Miss Havisham cared about was breaking Pip’s herat and nothing else. ‘Well? You can break his heart.’ Pip heard Miss Havisham telling Estella, as this wasn’t very nice for him to hear. ‘I never thought of being ashamed of my hands before; but I began to consider them a an indifferent pair.’ The amount of times Estella had insulted Pip made Pip feel insecure about how he was and acted when in front of her. ‘Her contempt for me was so strong, that it became infectious, and I caught it.’
Pip starts to think that him, his friends and family are not worth much and instead of carrying on with his childhood dream of becoming a blacksmith like his good friend, Joe. Now he would rather practice to be a gentleman now and there was someone behind all of this, who had unintentionally made him change his mind. He seems to think that if he becomes a gentlemen he would be worth more in Estella’s eyes.
As Pip grows up he has to overcome another death in his family, the one of his sister. Joe does finally move onto his second wife and Pip still lives with them Pip gets treated so much better with Joe’s new wife, Biddy. He feels that he can talk to her and he looks up to her as a mother/older sister.
Knowing that he has to change himself to be noticed by Estella, Pip forces himself to change who he is, and he has an over enthusiastic veiw on the thought of becoming a gentlemen. Pip seeks help from Biddy on how to become a gentleman, but Biddy doesn’t see the point in changing to be someone who your not for someone else.
Pip sees Miss Havisham as the way into Estella because Miss Havisham has money, status and is also a lady. Pip wants to believe that Miss Havisham is giving Pip money because he thinks that she is trying to prepare him to be a gentlemen so that he can court Estella. Miss Havisham is aware that she is leading him on but still continues to do so, she has become cruel and playing with anyones head is cruel.
When Joe goes to visit Pip in London, Pip has over the years of staying in London become a total snob and looks down at his nose at Joe, but he seems to forget that, that was him a few years back. Pip doesn’t like the fact that Joe is so common and he doesn’t like that fact anymore. Whilst Joe was there Pip treated the only person, who was really there for him throughout everything, like dirt. Pip had also forgot those days where Joe had bin there for him and stood by him.
Pip spends most of his time in London to be more like a gentleman he needs all the help he can get, because it is harder to adapt to a different way of life espscially when you haven’t been brought up in that way.
Pip as a gentleman in London has a better status than he had before when ne was a common boy making the living of a blacksmith but at least doing that he had more respect as a person and as a family member. I think he is half way there to getting a good life and he can do this by getting the respect back off Joe and Biddy. But if he carried on living the life of a gentleman alone in London he wouldn’t be leading a good life.
Estella left Miss Havisham at that young age to go off to a finishing school in Paris, so that she can continue her progress to becoming a ‘proper lady.’ When Estella returned from France she did not change a lot, she was still the same stuck up snob as before. ‘educating for a lady; far out of reach; prettier than ever; admired by all who see her. Do you feel you have lost her?’ At this point Miss Havisham is really being harsh to Pip she is trying to make Pip feel like he has lost out on something really big, this is unfair to Pip.
When Pip met Estella at Miss Havisham’s house it was ‘love at first sight’. Ever since that day he has loved her and only her since being a little boy even though she did make him cry on occasion they did have a love/hate relationship more hate from Estella and more love from Pip, deep down they did have a soft spot for each other. Estella could not show that she had true feelings for him as he was a common labouring boy and is not the ideal match for a ‘lady’.
Falling in love with Estella costed Pip his pride and dignity, this is because he threw everything that was ever worth anything away like his family and he did all this for Estella who never even said that she did love him back. He fell in love with Estella because she was the prettiest girl he had seen.’I think she is very pretty.’
Magwitch treats Pip like his son because he had his own child but when he was put in prison, she was adopted by a rich lady. So because of his loss he wanted to show how much he cares with Pip.
Magwitch wanted to repay Pip for being the only person who was there for himwhen he needed someone the most after escaping from prison. Pip did exactly what Magwitch asked and even though Magwitch did threaten to kill Pip if he didn’t cooperate.
Pip was so glad that he was given this oppertunity to full fill his dream of being a gentleman so he could win Estella over. He was greatful to the person who was funding for this and the solicitor, Mr Jaggers, was told not to tell Pip who it was that actually was paying the money to Pip, and of course it was Magwitch. Estella was a lady, and ladies do not court ‘common boys’ that is the reason for Estella not paying him any interest. When he used to go to visit her at Miss Havisham’s house. So for Pip to even be noticed by Estella. To be a gentleman you did need money so when he received it i am so sure that he was ecstatic. With all this money that Pip received he became very proud because he had money he became a snob and it all went to his head. Pip got to caught up in having all this money he didn’t think of the more important things in life as well as money, such as having your family and friends,who will always be there for you whenever you need them and money can be lost just as quick as you got it. Pip didn’t realise this until the very end of the novel. He turned into a snob and didn’t even realise what this did to his family.
Magwitch was an escaped prisoner when we first met Pip in the graveyard with Magwitch. Pip was forced by Magwitch to get him whittles and a file, seen as though Pip could have ran away and not come back instead he did return. If they where caught then they would both be in a lot of trouble, especially Pip as he stole food from his house to help a convict. Also when Magwitch was caught fighting with Scarface on the beach the police caught him and because he ran away from prison and he came back to this country he had two options either to go and work in Australia, but if he was caught in this country again no questions asked, he would be hung or the second option was to be hung straight away. So when Magwitch returned from Australia he was taking a big risk by coming back. On the otherhand it was important for Magwitch to confront Pip who the mystery person actually was, so that Pip knows who had funded and vispired his life as a gentleman.
Magwitch doing this showed that he really cared and would go to any extreme just to show Pip how much he really cared and how greatful he was to Pip for being the only person who helped him when he needed help the most and no one was there fore him.
When Magwitch clarifies the situation for Pip and at this point Pip understands that his life so far has been a total lie as Pip always thought Miss Havisham paid for him and was trying to get Pip up to the standard that Estella would consider to court Pip.
Pip feels like a fool due to him believing that Miss Havisham was the person who funded him this time, and Miss Havisham never even talked to Pip to get him out of his confusion misunderstanding. Now he realises that he has done a lot of horrible things to the people that are there for him and cared about him. So Pip had to change his ways by understanding that all he has done so far is put people down and has been a total up-tight snob and now he has realised, it is time to change his ways, and think about other people instead of just himself.
Pip now had to confront Miss Havisham about this new information that he was informed, by Magwitch, who was the person who was actually funded Pip’s life as a gentleman. When Pip confronted Miss Havisham about Estella.
When Pip confronted Miss Havisham about who was actually was giving him money he learnt that she was truely sorry for what she put him through and he also learnt that money is not everything.
Magwitch tells Pip that he had a daughter and when he went to prison his daughter was given up for adoption and all he knew a rich lady was caring for her. At this point Pip knew who he was talking about, it was, Estella.
Pip believes that when someone goes out of their way to help you, you should go out of your way to help them. Pips even went as far as thinking about moving to Australia just to get Magwitch back safely. Pip had to get his priorities sorted and to get Magwitch out of England and into Australia was his top priority He has also learnt that Magwitch looked out for him and now it is his turn to return the favour.
This tells us that Pip has taken into consideration that he must think of other people’s feelings and needs before his own.
When Pip falls ill and Joe has to take him home to look after him. Pip had at this point realised that the person he like dirt and treated him as though he is not worth anything and this is the person who is looking after Pip while he is not well and while Pip was younger him and Joe were best friends then. ‘Dear Biddy, you have the best husband in the whole world, and if you could have seen him by my bed you would have’ With Pip realising that how great Joe had actually been throughout all this and how he had treated him.
I think Pip and Estella got married because Estella has been brought down to earth after she knew what her background really was. and realised that she is as much as a lady as Pip a gentleman. She is as ‘common’ as Pip now.
Pip’s journey through life started at a graveyard where he had not much expectancy from life. He did go through a lot of experiences such as having fallen in love and not long after having his heart broken. He had to change who he was, to become something he wasn’t and this wasn’t for himself, but for the one he loved, Estella. Pip has now also learnt that there is more to life than money and status one of the most important things in life is to be a descent human being, and Pip learnt this the hard way!