How is Pip a victim of his own emotions in Great Expectations?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pip, like any ordinary person, made positive and negative choices in his life. In a show of humanity, he fed an escaped convict, Magwitch, who later turned out to be his benefactor. Pip also went ahead to help Miss Havisham, a wealthy woman leading an unhappy lifestyle. It was during his work at Miss Havisham’s house where he met Estella. Estella was unkind towards Pip and to some extent men in general. Pip was, however, attracted to her and willing to do anything to be with her. Pip worked hard and wanted to be a gentleman. His feelings for Estella changed him, as seen when he was unhappy with the blacksmith apprenticeship to Joe that was paid for by Miss Havisham. Pip was later granted his wish to travel to London and become a gentleman; the trip and training were secretly funded by Magwitch. Due to the changes he was already going through, Pip fell deep in debt. Pip learned about Magwitch’s role in his travel to London and started to reevaluate his actions and perceptions. He made an attempt at becoming a humble and better person due to the revelation. Pip proceeded to Cairo where he worked as a clerk and later moved back home to find a changed Estella.

Pip's emotions drove him to make certain decisions in life, with some of those decisions serving as important life lessons. He was kind but also ungrateful towards the likes of Joe. He may also have misjudged Magwitch and his abilities. His pursuit to be a gentleman was driven by his feelings towards Estella and so were the changes he was going through at the time. This clearly shows he was a victim of his own feelings.

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Great Expectations

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