Throughout the novel, how is Pip pressured to be successful?

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writergal06 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pressure to be success comes to Pip through many directions. First, Mrs. Joe pressures him to be successful, accompanied by Uncle Pumblechook. Because they are so poor, they instill in Pip the idea that if they (he) had more money or a higher station, life would be better. Pressure also comes from his benefactor. His benefactor emphasizes that he is to be educated as a gentlemen. For the majority of the novel, Pip thinks that his benefactor is Miss Havisham, and he works hard to try to impress her. Most of the pressure to be successful comes from Pip himself, and his own imagination. He has convinced himself that Miss Havisham is his benefactor and that she is grooming him to marry Estella. He wants to rise to the social position necessary to impress Estella. He also wants to prove that he is more worthy of Estella's hand than Drummle does. Because of his false view of his "expectations," Pip pushes himself to the point of alienating those who care the most about him. He has to learn that in order to truly be successful in life, you need successful relationships rather than money.

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Great Expectations

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