Great Expectations: PipCharles Dickens’s Great expectations is a story about a boy, Philip Pirrip,who comes to a point in his life where his life changes drastically from the wayit was when he was growing up.
Whenever this change occurs, he does his bestnot to let people know about his past life where he was just a common boy. Throughout the novel, Dickens points out how people sometimes lead two livesthat they want to keep separate. The change in Pip’s life is characterized in several ways. First of all,there is a physical change, when he moves to London. That just accentuates thedifference between the two lives.
Before, he lived in a small town that wasnear some marshes, both of which reflect the common side of his life. Londonis seen by Pip as a great and wonderful city which symbolizes his expectationsof what is to come in his future. Another change in his life is that he istreated better by others. Mr.
Trabb, the tailor, takes exception to Pip afterhe hears that he has come into a fortune. He measures Pip very quickly, andgets angry at his son for not showing the same respect of Pips wealth. Then,when he next sees Pumblechook, he repeatedly asks Pip if he may shake his hand,as if it is some great honor. Before the news, he hardly treated Pip anydifferently than any other common boy. Pip also looks to the way his newacquaintances are treated, most notably Mr. Jaggers.
He is treated with a greatdeal of respect by everyone, and even invokes fear in some. Pip had never seenthis level of respect for someone that was his direct acquaintance before,except for Miss Havisham, who he knew had great wealth. This dual lifestyle is paralleled in Mr. Wemmick, the clerk for Mr. Jaggers.
Mr. Wemmick, when at work, only thinks about his work, and doesnt lethis personal life affect how he goes about his business. The flip side of thecoin is also true, as when he goes home, he forgets about anything that happenedat work, and concentrates on making his deaf father happy. The scene when hetakes Pip to work shows the change that he goes through on his way to work: Bydegrees, Wemmick got dryer and harder as we went along, and his mouth tightenedinto a post-office again.
Just like Pip, he changes how he acts according towhich role he is playing. Whenever the two lives come together, it is hard for Pip to determinewhat to do about it. He seems not to want his two lives to mix, but is helplessto prevent it. Whenever Joe says he is coming to London, Pip doesnt like heidea, but he ends up coming anyway. Also, when he finds that Orlick is workingfor Miss Havisham, he is apparently shocked. He remembers him working for Joe,and doesnt think its right that hes now working as Miss Havishams watchman.
In society today, people often lead these dual lives. I have known manypeople who, when at school, take it very seriously and work hard at it, but whenthe weekend comes, they take their partying just as seriously. Another way thatpeople lead separate lives is when they hide who they really are and pretendthey are someone else. Mostly this happens because that person is afraid thatthey will not fit in with the rest of the crowd. Ok, I’ll come clean.
At onetime I was one of these people that tried to fit in. I later realized that Iwas just denying who I really am. I have a feeling that, by the end of thenovel, Pip will have a better standing of who he really is.