At the end of Chapter 9, Pip is aware of "great changes" in himself. In what ways has Pip changed since Chapter 1?Cite examples from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens to support your answers.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Chapter 9 of Great Expectations, Pip has ventured from the forge, the only home he has known, and has been exposed to the eccentric Miss Havisham and the beautiful, scornful Estella.  After his visit to Satis House, Pip acquires a different perspective of himself, and it is not one with which he is satisfied. Instead, he views himself as "ignorant and backward":

I took the opportunity of being alone to look at my coarse hands and my common boots.  They had never trouble me before, but they troubled me now.  I determined to ask Joe why he had ever taught me to call those picture card jacks, which ought to be called knaves.  I wished Joe had been rather more genteelly brought up, and then I should have been so, too.

Estella's remarks about his boots and his being a "common" (meaning lower class) laboring boy" have affected Pip greatly.  Now, he looks at Joe as Estella would, all is changed for Pip.  In one chapter, Pip states,

It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home....I had believed in the kitchen as a chaste though not magnificent apartment; I had believed in the forge as the glowing road to manhood and independence. Within a single year all this was changed.  Now, it was all coarse and common, and I would not have had Miss Havisham and Estella see it on any account.

Pip's desires are altered.  He wants now to become a gentleman; if he can do so, then Estella will not ridicule him and he will be more worthy of respect.  To be aligned with Joe, who is illiterate and with coarse hands like him, is shameful now to Pip.  His home, his clothes, everything about the forge now has been demeaned by Pip's experience of going to Satis House.  A "memorable day" is the one in which Pip is taken to play with the beautiful Estella as all Pip's ideas and goals have been altered by it.

This change in values by Pip is also evidenced by his lack of compunction in lying to Mrs. Joe and Uncle Pumblechook about his experience at Satis House.  Ironically, it is the "common" and "coarse" Joe--the only one who causes him to feel "a monster"--who scolds Pip about telling these falsehoods:  "That ain't the way to get out of being common, old chap."  Here, Dickens subtlely suggests that Pip's future change may not be such "great expectations" as he thinks.

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Great Expectations

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