Pip's changing social views through out "Great Expectations"

Essay by melooche4Junior High, 9th gradeA, December 2006

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Pip's view on social status changes many times throughout the course of the story. Many different events occur to Pip throughout the story that have both positive and negative effects on his views. These occurrences change how Pip views himself and others in the story.

In the beginning Pip had no view on social status because he only knew of his. The time when Pip was nine he knew only of the lifestyle that he lived with Joe and Mrs. Joe. He thought that the life they lived was fine and saw no problems with it. Pip saw himself and his family as normal members of society and not of a lower or higher class.

Pip's view changed on social status when he began to attend Miss. Havisham's house. When he first got invited he was amazed at how much Miss. Havisham had. He also met Estella. Estella was of Miss. Havisham's class Pip felt less of a person than her. With the torment from both Miss. Havisham and Estella, Pip began to want to become of a higher social class to impress Estella. Pip fells less of a person when he and Estella play the card game "Beggar Your Neighbor", and when Estella says to Pip that he is nothing more than a common boy with old boots and rough hands.

Another point in the story is when Joe comes to visit Pip in London. When Joe talks to Pip he addresses him as "sir and Mr.". Pip does not think Joe of a lower class at the time so he doesn't understand why Joe keeps on formally addressing him.

The last way in which Pip's view on social status changes is when he goes to visit Joe after the death of Mrs. Joe. When he goes back to Joe's he does not stay at the house but at a tavern down the street. Pip doesn't want to stay with Joe because he thinks Joe is of a lower status than himself. His view in Joe changes however before he leaves to return back to London. When Joe tries to shake Pip's hand before he leaves he has been working in the forge so it is black with soot. Joe goes to wipe it off but Pip insists that he shake his hand without wiping it off.

As you can see Pip's views on social status change many times. He doesn't know what to think but in the end he figures it all out.