What do we learn about Pip's personality from his conversations with Miss Havisham and Estella in "Great Expectations"?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From his moments with Estella, we see that Pip is easily swayed to doing whatever it is that Estella wants.  He wants so badly to please her that he drops everything he's ever known about being a blacksmith.  He longs to become a gentleman.  Then his big moment arrives when he is given his "great expectations" and the conditions for them.  This is when he is able to build his future around the possibility of being with her.  So around Estella, we see that he is weak and easy to convince.

Miss Havisham tells Pip to "love her, love her, love her!" referring to Estella.  That doesn't take much convincing since he is infatuated with her anyway.  But we see that Pip must not have any confidence in himself because he lets both Miss Havisham and Estella control him.  He does as Miss Havisham says.  He returns and allows her to manipulate her relatives through him.

Overall, Pip's personality reveals that he is not confident, he is weak, yet he does have a kind heart because he only wants to please them.  He knows what is polite and what is not by the way he comments on how "insulting" Estella is when he first meets her. He realizes that she is being rude and calls her on it.

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Great Expectations

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