Great Expectations Analysis

Essay by ajparkHigh School, 10th gradeA, May 2004

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Herbert, who serves as a contrasting character to Pip in the Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations, also is the one who is accountable for turning Pip into a true gentleman. Herbert, as a character, is the most intimately close friend to Pip. Although Joe Gargery does have a special relation with Pip, Joe's relation with Pip is different from Herbert's relation with Pip in a sense that Joe is a guardian or father figure more than a friend for Pip. During the middle of the novel, the difference between Joe and Herbert's relations with Pip grow even wider, as Pip mistakes to think of Joe to be someone not fit to be around with, and relies more and more on Herbert. While Pip's ignorance for Joe and Biddy grow, Herbert's indirect influence to Pip makes Pip turn into a mature, true gentleman - which is one of the themes of this novel.

Many of the factors that gears Pip to become a true gentleman are the opposite traits of character that Herbert has. As the book grows deeper and deeper into the story, it becomes evident to the reader that the opposite qualities between Herbert and Pip balance out to make a solid friendship, and evolve Pip into a true, mature gentleman.

The most obvious opposite feature of Herbert and Pip, from the first time they meet, are their inherited social standings. While Pip is a "common labouring-boy (51:6)" growing up in the house of a blacksmith at the Statis house when he first bumps into Herbert, Herbert is a young gentleman who is from the cousin family of the extravagant Miss Havisham. From the start, Pip constantly refers to Herbert, who is about Pip's age, as a "pale young gentleman".

The another opposite that Herbert and Pip have are...