Does Pip develop or change throughout the novel?

1 Answer | Add Yours

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Pip learns the difficult lesson of humility in the course of the novel. He also develops his understanding of the difference between character and class.  Miss Havisham's cruel machinations; forcing Pip to learn first his own, then Estella's ambivalent social position show Dickens bringing his characters up to date with a changing age where class and social position are no longer exclusive or fixed.

 Miss Havisham's patronage (a deception in itself) teaches Pip that the quality which Estella condemned in him; his 'coarseness', which he, in turn, condemned in himself and in his beloved Joe, is simply honesty. What the characters of the young Pip, Joe, Biddy and Magwitch represent are 'coarseness' in the form of unvarnished truth. They are fair, honest and full of integrity. Those who initially turn Pip's head - Miss Havisham and Estella - represent instability deception, arrogance and superficiality.

We’ve answered 318,914 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question