What can we learn from the character Pip in Great Expectations and all that happens to him? What is your response to his story and him? 

Expert Answers
thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We learn the important lesson of humility and perseverance through the character Pip. Pip learned the importance of humility through a strange experience. The convict he assisted out of fear became his future benefactor. Magwitch the convict escaped and met with Pip at the cemetery where he had gone to visit his parents’ grave. Magwitch was recaptured but later ended up in Australia and gathered enough wealth, which he used to help Pip become a gentleman. During his studies towards being a gentleman, Pip grew increasingly arrogant, as seen by how he treated Joe. He did, however, learn the real lesson about humility after he found out about the true source of his funding. He then aspired to be humble henceforth.

Pip grew up against difficult odds because he was orphaned at a tender age and lived with his abusive sister. He still aspired to do better and when Miss Havisham offered him an opportunity, he worked hard at it. He was apprenticed to a blacksmith by Miss Havisham but he wanted to become a gentleman. He was so inclined in his desire that he eventually got an opportunity to fulfill his wish.

The story of Pip also shows that kindness does not go unrewarded. His act of kindness towards a convict changed the individual’s life for the better and as a reward, the former convict became his benefactor and helped him achieve his dream of becoming a gentleman.

"Yes, Pip, dear boy. I've made a gentleman on you! It's me wot has done it! I swore that time, sure as ever I earned a guinea, that guinea should go to you. I swore arterwards, sure as ever I spec'lated and got rich, you should get rich. I lived rough, that you should live smooth. I worked hard that you should be above work. What odds, dear boy! Do I tell it fur you to feel a obligation? Not a bit. I tell it, for you to know as that there hunted dunghill dog wot you kep life in, got his head so high that he could make a gentleman--and, Pip, you're him!"

Pip’s story started off tragically after we learned that he was an orphan living with an abusive sister, but he encountered kindness from his brother in law. The story progressed and described Pip as a hardworking individual, who later became arrogant and lacked humility when he became a gentleman. He then learned his life lessons and aspired to become a better person at the climax of his story.

Read the study guide:
Great Expectations

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question