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Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

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In Great Expectations, to what extent do Pip's expectations come true in London? Is Pip satisfied? Why or why not?

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It was upon his frequent association with Miss Havisham and Estella that made Pip discontented with his current state in life, and he felt that disgruntlement for quite some time.  He felt embarrassed by Joe and Biddy, and by the humble circumstances in which he lived.  Upon receiving his inheritance, he was able to "move up" in the world; he was able to get an education, live on his own, and become a gentleman of sorts.  And, for a while, it is pleasing to him.  He enjoys the comforts of having money.  He enjoys his companionship with his friend Herbert and his association with his family.

However, his new money has not brought him what he desires most in the world--respect and love from the unattainable Estella.  Despite his wealth, despite his status of being a gentleman, and despite Pip's supsicions that his benefactor is trying to align him with Estella, he does not get the girl.  Estella shows no romantic interest.  To add to this disappointment is Pip's own guilt over his poor treatment of his family back home.  Since coming into his money and moving to London, Pip has been horrible about staying in contact with Joe and his family, and has shunned them on numerous occasions.  He knows that is wrong, and always feels a weight of guilt over it, that shadows over all of his comforts and hapipness.   Another burden is Pip's increasing debt, which weighs on and comfort and security that he does have through his money.

Pip expected to gain Estella's love, respect in the world and for himself, and great comfort and security. In the end, he pretty much strikes out on all of those expectations.  He does have money, yes, but at the alienation of his family, and his increasing debt and unromantic relationship with Estella come along with it.  I imagine that on a certain level Pip wants to be satisfied, but as the end of the novel will attest, Pip learns that money is indeed, not the key to happiness.  I hope that helped; good luck!

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