Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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How does Pip develop the plot in Great Expectations?

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Great Expectations is the story of what happens to Pip as he comes into money that a mysterious benefactor leaves him. It is also the story of how he changes. At first, Pip is embarrassed by Joe, the blacksmith who is married to Pip's abusive older sister. Joe is uncouth but kind, and Pip strives to be a gentleman. Over time, however, Pip comes to realize that the people around him who are wealthy and supposedly genteel are actually mean and not worthy friends. Therefore, Pip drives the plot in Great Expectations because it is his development and his movement from innocence to wisdom that form the arc of the novel. As Pip experiences the life of a gentleman in London, he comes to realize that Joe, though he is simple, is the truest gentleman Pip knows.

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