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Pip has two external conflicts in these chapters, his social status and his family. First of all, he is in conflict with his social status as a poor boy. His low-class environment has not even occurred to him until he meets Estella and Miss Havisham. In these chapters, Pip is first introduced to Satis House, Estella and Miss Havisham. Until this time, he was content to live with Joe and dream of the time when he would become Joe’s apprentice. Although his sister is a terrible shrew, he takes solace in his camaraderie with Joe. After meeting Miss Havisham and Estella, however, for the first time Pip beccomes aware that he is poor, a mere “blacksmith’s boy.” From this point on, he is at odds with his environment, grieving over the fact that he does not have any expectations outside of becoming Joe’s apprentice. The more he is around Estella and Satis House, the more he realizes how lacking in opportunity his life is. He is conflicted over his desire for advancement and his love for the family that is preventing that advancement.
The second external conflict is with Pip’s family. Pip learns that he has a mysterious benefactor and that the benefactor intends to make him a gentleman. Pip does not know what a gentleman is or how to become one and as he struggles to figure this out, he becomes a snob. Pip is excited about his future, but he is torn between his “great expectations” and his loving, though embarrassing, family. He does not really know how a gentlemen is supposed to act, but when he makes a stab at it, he becomes conceited and obnoxious. He looks down on Joe and Biddy, relishing the fact that the town tailor is sucking up to him while making him a suit in the hopes that Pip will give him more business. At the end of chapter 19, Pip moves to London, leaving his family behind – he thinks.
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