How is Pip a victim of his own emotions? Is it his fault?

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pip’s emotions control him in several instances in the story. His fear of Magwitch and the other convict wreaks havoc on his emotions. He fears that he will be killed and his liver eaten, and he is also afraid of what his sister will do if she finds out that he has stolen food from her. In his relationship with Estella, he is of course controlled by his obsession with her, since it is seemingly unrequited. His efforts to be a gentleman, fulfilling his “great expectations,” are based mostly on trying to please her. His hope that it is Miss Havisham who is his benefactor causes him to believe that he is being prepared as a husband for Estella. His disappointment in learning that it is not Miss Havisham, but Magwitch, who has been his sponsor, almost destroys his faith in himself, in others, and in his future. It is only when he puts aside his emotion and faces the truth of his situation that he can readily deal with the turn of events; he returns to the forge and Joe, and gives up any hope of marrying Estella.

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Great Expectations

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