What are different philosophies of characters in Great Expectations on how to operate or get along in the world?Base answer on the book as a whole not just one chapter.  

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Wemmick: Wemmick's philosophy is to listen carefully and glean as much knowledge as one can through the power of observation.  Use the knowledge to invest or buy "portable" property--or in reality things that someone and his loved ones can enjoy.  Example: Wemmick spends years working for Jaggers and learns through Jaggers' clients what not to do when it comes to money.  He also realizes that even though someone might be wealthy (Jaggers, Drummle, etc.), he has nothing if he is alone in the world.

Mr. Jaggers: "The end justifies the means." Jaggers could care less what fate his clients meet. In fact, he almost revels in their failures (the masks on his office wall). As long as he is prospering in some way through winning cases, collecting interest, or controlling others' lives, he seems satsified.

Magwitch: Work hard and get even. Magwitch, though a likeable character, lives much of his life plotting revenge. He invests all his money in Pip to show that he can "make" a gentleman who is better than a born gentleman (Compeyson). Thankfully, Magwich gets to enjoy life somewhat before his capture and demise, but he wasted years because of his obsession with getting revenge.

Herbert Pockett: Surround yourself with those you love and work hard to make life better for them. Herbert, though entangled in the consequences of Pip's poor choices, manages to remain optimistic throughout the novel, believing that in the end everything will be okay, and it was--for him.

These are just a few.  Most of the characters have quite unique philosophies in comparison with each other.

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Great Expectations

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