What is Pip's epiphany in Great Expectations?  

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The epiphany that Pip reaches is that he is not meant to live the high life a gentleman.

Pip has left his life and family behind, once he became a lad of great expectations.  He enjoyed living large, among the upper crust in London.  He grew ashamed of his simple upbringing and even of his uncle, Joe.  He does not realize until he is burned by Estella and Miss Havisham that he is better off being himself and pretending to be someone he is not.  Pip declares in chapter 49 that he will remain and old bachelor.  Even when he meets up with Estella, she is poor.

“The ground belongs to me. It is the only possession I have not relinquished. Everything else has gone from me, little by little, but I have kept this. It was the subject of the only determined resistance I made in all the wretched years.”

It does not bother either of them that she is poor, and they settle down to a quiet life.  In the original ending, he just goes off and remains a bachelor.


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