Great Expectations

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

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In Great Expectations, the two central round characters were Miss Havisham and Pip. After finishing the book, these two characters stuck out more than any others. They were the very definition of a round character to be found in the novel. They changed drastically from the beginning to the end of the novel.

Pip started out in the first part of the novel as a confused English boy who belonged to a low income home. He was loyal to his lifestyle and best friend Joe because he knew no other way of life. Pip was also the best of friends with his brother in law, Joe.

Then Pip found that a large some of money had come into his possession due to a benefactor and things with his attitude slowly started to change. As Pip became more involved in the great expectations of his future life as a gentleman he slowly started to turn his back on the ones around him.

At the start of the novel, Biddy and Joe cared for Pip dearly yet to Pip it didn't matter much. Pip was young and naive and when he went to London, he went with an arrogant feeling towards Joe and Biddy. Once in London, the money came and he just turned more into the arrogant gentleman. Pip found himself looking down on the people and the homes of citizens not in his social class. Dickens writes, " Whereas I now found Barnard to be a disembodied spirit, or a fiction, and his inn the dingiest collection of shabby buildings ever squeezed together in a rank corner as a club of tom-cats"� to describe how Pip was feeling to the reacting class housing (Ch. 21, pg., 159).

Then Pip's benefactor, the convict Magwitch came to Pip and told him about working to pay Pip back for his good deeds in the start of the novel. Pip at first is very nervous but slowly into the novel Pip becomes very loyal to Magwitch which was different from his attitude in the middle of the novel. Pip then makes a total change from his earlier character by doing a very unselfish favor for Herbert. He sets Herbert up with a job by paying money to the company yet tells the owner not to let Herbert know that Pip is the benefactor.

At the end of the novel, Pip goes back to Joe and Biddy to make amends with them. He tells them that he is sorry for the pain he caused them and is a new man. Instead of being an arrogant gentleman Pip is now a humble hard worker and a hundred times happier.

Miss Havisham is loving towards a man and also very happy before the novel even starts. Things turn for the worse, with Miss Havisham's fiancé leaving her on her wedding night. She becomes very upset and angry towards love and the world. Miss Havisham has taken Estella under her wing and teaches her to break men's hearts right and left as Miss Havisham's heart was broken.

Miss Havisham slowly starts to change rather far into the novel when she accuses Estella of not showing love towards her. Miss Havisham says, "Would it be weakness to return my love?"� (Ch.38, pg. 285). Even though no love to Estella from Miss Havisham was shown, this statement still proves that Miss Havisham did love people and wanted love in return.

Miss Havisham's change is final when she apologizes to Pip for making Estella ruin his heart. This shows that she really is sorry and has feelings which represents a major change from the start of the novel.

Pip and Miss Havisham display their changes and reasons for being defined as round characters in these situations. A good novel must have round characters to add suspense and anticipation for the reader to enjoy. Many other characters could be called round characters in this novel, but these were the most distinctive.