"Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens.

Essay by DougtheamazingmanHigh School, 11th gradeA+, August 2003

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Moral Maturity in Charles Dickens' novel, Great Expectations, the main character Pip undergoes a constant moral maturing. Pip's original childhood innocence was stripped of him when he began to desire material wealth and influence. His fear of certain characters like Mrs. Joe and Magwitch inspired him to do some undesirable things. Next, when Pip was in London being supported by his convict, he spent his money recklessly in an attempt to gratify himself. Finally, after Pip realized the truth about people, his formerly selfish attitude turned altruistic and he accepted others for whom they are: not for what they look like. In Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations, Pip experienced three basic stages of moral maturity: fear, self- satisfaction, and altruism. The first stage Pip went through relative to his moral development was fear. in this stage, Pip's main excuse for his actions was his fear of punishment. Fear can inspire a person to think irrationally and make him/her aware only of themselves.

Reacting out of fear is natural, but it must be overcome sooner or later to spur on further growth as a person. Pip displayed this weakness because Mrs. Joe was constantly beating and threatening him. This kind of behaviour made Pip very sensitive and easily swayed in his thoughts. In this quote, Pip is inspired by fear to lie to his sister and Mr. Pumblechook, '7 was perfectly frantic - a reckless witness under the torture - and would have told them anything. (ch. 9 pg. 97) Another specific example of Pip acting out of fear was when he met Magwitch, his convict, on the marshes and was told to bring him a file and some whittles or else Pip's liver would be ripped out by the convict's friend. This incident spurred Pip on to steal from...