The Journey to Manhood: Over the course of Great Expectations, Pip evolves.....

Essay by sweetiepy23High School, 10th gradeA, June 2004

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Over the course of Great Expectations, Pip learns lifelong lessons that result from guiltiness, humiliation, and over-confidence. He evolves from a young boy filled with innocence to a selfish, young man, and finally into a man who has true concern for others. Pip goes through three stages in the novel: shame and guilt, arrogance and self-indulgence; and finally his stage of redemption.

When Pip encounters Estella and Miss Havisham he begins to feel ashamed of himself and the life he lives. He feels ashamed about how he is so common, he regrets that Joe is a mere blacksmith and has no education. Pip's shame is brought on by Estella who points out all of his common traits and treats him as an inferior. She taunts him for wearing thick boots, and for having coarse hands. Estella demolishes his self-esteem; this makes Pip ashamed of things he never was before. Pip thinks to himself: "I had never thought of being ashamed of my hands before; but I began to consider them a very different pair.

Her contempt was so strong, that it became infectious, and I caught it."(60) From then on, Pip is ashamed of who he is and where he comes from.

Pip's feelings of guilt are shown after the fight with the young pale gentleman and the attack of Mrs. Joe. After beating up the boy at Ms. Havisham's, Pip said he "felt but gloomy satisfaction in my victory. Indeed, I go so far as to hope that I regarded myself while dressing, as a species of savage young wolf, or other wild beasts."(92,93) Although he feels guilty here, some feelings of pride come over him: he did beat up a gentleman. The attack upon Mrs. Joe also brings guilt to Pip. The weapon used against Mrs. Joe was...