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In Great Expecations, how do Pip's conversations at Satis House reveal that he is...

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noodle97 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM via web

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In Great Expecations, how do Pip's conversations at Satis House reveal that he is changing in chapter 44?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM (Answer #1)

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Just to help us contextualise this chapter and the events that occur in it, this comes after Pip has discovered the true identity of his patron and that it is not, as he had been led to believe, Miss Havisham. He therefore has been forced to re-examine certain aspects of his own life and of the lives of those around him. Pip's character therefore makes a pleasing movement towards less selfishness and more thinking about others and how they have been wronged. In particular, he confronts Miss Havisham about her treatment of the Pockett family and goes to her to ask for help--not for himself--so that he can help Herbert to make his way in the world:

'I am not so cunning, you see,' I said, in answer, conscious that I reddened a little, 'as that I could hide from you, even if I desired, that I do want something. Miss Havisham, if you would spare the money to do my friend Herbert a lasting service in life, but which from the nature of the case must be done without his knowledge, I could show you how.'

What is so interesting about this quote is that it reveals a Pip that has been stripped of all his pretensions. He realises that he has been manipulated and deceived throughout the novel by characters such as Miss Havisham who are far more cunning than he is. As a result he has to accept his own limitations and also shows significant character development in the way that he tries to help his friend.

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