Infatuation as a theme in "Great Expectations"

Essay by hanyserryCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2006

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There were several themes associated with the novel "Great Expectations". One of the most fascinating themes dealt with "infatuation and how it compares to and relates to love" ("Infatuation"). Infatuation is basically an obsession, or extravagant affection towards a person (Webster, 667). There is really no definite reason behind their passion, therefore this feeling is often short in duration and indicative of faulty judgement (Webster, 667). The person doesn't know what these feelings mean, this is normally why they mistake it for love. Love, on the other hand, is an intense affectionate concern for another person (Webster, 772). It is a more selfless and settled feeling. You can compare the difference between love and infatuation with the cliche "All that glitters is not gold", the glitter illusion being infatuation and the gold being love, the real thing. As a person grows and experiences their feelings with many other people, the distinction between love and infatuation becomes more clear.

This is because the person can compare feelings they have experienced in the past, with their present feelings.

In "Great Expectations" we see how Pip's infatuation for Estella is "short in duration" (Webster, 667), as most infatuations are. Despite the fact that Estella is arrogant and rude, Pip is not only infatuated with her beauty and wealth, but also almost envies it. In fact the humiliation Estella puts Pip through, causes Pip to feel very lowly of himself and the way he has been brought up. This causes Pip's expectations to change from expecting to be Joe's blacksmith apprentice, to studying to become a gentlemen noticed and admired by Estella. As years pass, Estella continues to play with Pip's heart, and Pip continues to unconditionally have feelings for her. Later, Estella marries a man named Bently Drummle,