Illustration of Pip visiting a graveyard

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

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how are pips great expectations linked to becoming a gentlemen and till what extent is he misled in his belief?

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It is Pip's ambition to rise above his poor, orphaned status to become a member of the wealthy elite. He wants to improve himself in all aspects of his life, but especially in his social status so he's worthy of Estella. A gentleman to Pip means becoming wealthy, educated, and powerful. He's misled because he discovers upon becoming a gentleman that people of the upper class are immoral and that his life isn't any more satisfying than when he was an orphan. He learns from Joe and Biddy that social and educational improvement are just a small part of improving yourself. He feels guilty for the way he treats Joe and Biddy. He learns that ambition without morality is a bad thing, a major theme of the book. Being a gentleman doesn't lead to happiness because the upper class is shallow and uncaring.

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