Does Pip develop or change throughout the novel?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Posted on

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial