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Pip's Heroic Journey
Transcript of Pip's Heroic Journey
by Sara Karamat
Pip, being the hero in
, is called to action when he comes in contact with a convict who requests food and a file. At first, Pip is hesitant in completing this task, but out of fear, ends up giving the convict what he asked for, and in doing so accepted his journey, whether he knew it at that point or not. This event launches the plot line and also shows Pip's innocence because he chose to help an escaped, dangerous convict.
"You fail, or you go from my words in any particular, no matter how small it is, and your heart and your liver should be tore out, roasted and ate", (Dickens 6)
Meeting his Mentor
Pip builds up enough courage to bring the convict food and a file, and runs away quickly hoping it will be their last interaction. At this point in the story, Pip does not realize the convict is his mentor, but will discover this later in the book because the man ends up helping him tremendously.
"He did not turn me upside down, this time, to get at what I had, but left me upwards while I opened the bundle and emptied my pockets", (Dickens 18)
Pip first experiences higher society living when he plays at Miss Havisham's house. During his time there playing cards and fighting another young boy, he realizes how ashamed and embarrased he is by his social status. A young girl named Estella treats him poorly and with no respect, but he is still oddly attracted to her. He is inspired to become a gentleman in order to get rid of his shame and to hopefully win Estella's heart.
";pondering, as I went along, on all I had seen, and deeply revovling that I was a common labouring-boy; that I had fallen into a despicable habit of calling knaves Jacks; that I was much more ignorant than I had considered myself last night, and generally that I was in a low-lived bad way", (Dickens 62)
when he was young at Miss Havisham's house, but later encounters him in London. They quickly become friends and Herbert sticks with Pip throughout the rest of the book. He teaches Pip that being a gentleman comes from how you act, not necessarily your class level. He shows Pip compassion and helps him through various challenges.
"We owed so much to Herbert's ever cheerful industry and readiness, that I often wondered how I had conceived that old idea of his inaptitude, until I was one day enlightened by the reflection, that perhaps the inaptitude had never been in him at all, but had been in me", (Dickens 462)
, Pip's brother-in-law, is one of his allies. Joe was really his only family member who showed Pip love and support. He often protected and defended Pip when Mrs. Joe was putting Pip down. He always helped Pip and cared for him, even when Pip became embarrassed to be seen with him.
"But I loved Joe- perhaps for no better reason in those early days because the dear fellow let me love him- and, as to him, my inner self was not so easily composed", (Dickens 40)
is another one
of Pip's allies. He becomes Pip's guardian and offers him advice that helps him become a gentleman. He teaches him to not judge by appearance, a lesson Pip eventually learns to be true. Jaggers also helps Pip with his financial matters.
The first encounter between these two characters happen at Miss Havisham's house and Pip says, "He was nothing to me, and I could have had no foresight then, that he ever would be anything to me, but it happened that I had this opportunity of observing him well", (Dickens 80)
Allies Pt. 2
was another one of Pip's allies. She was Pip's first teacher and helps him with reading and writing. Pip never realizes she is in love with him, but still confides in her with his problems. Biddy encourages him and shows concern with all of his matters, even though Pip forgets about her for some time. She serves as a loving and long-lasting friend to Pip.
"I reflected that even in those untoward times there must have been latent in Biddy what was now developing, for, in my uneasiness and discontent I had turned to her for help, as a matter of course", (Dickens 123)
Guardians of the Threshold
Estella is the guardian of the threshold because she is the one who allows Pip into the Satis House and introduces Pip to upper class living. She tests Pip and plays with him, figuratively and literally, in order to see if he is ready for his journey ahead.
"A window was raised, and a clear voice demanded "What name?" To which my conductor replied, "Pumblechook." The voice returned, "Quite right," and the window was shut again, and a young lady came across the court-yard, with keys in her hand", (Dickens 52)
Crossing the Threshold
Pip crosses the threshold when he enters Miss Havisham's house. He gets his first taste of the rich life, but it is something completely unknown to him. He experiences problems here that he never has before, such as feeling ashamed of his social background. This environment is very new to Pip and he is unsure about how to act and feel
"This was very uncomfortable, and I was half-afraid", (Dickens 55)
Mrs. Joe's Death
Mrs. Joe is the first death that Pip deals with in his new, adult life. Even though Mrs. Joe was not a good sister, she was the only mother figure Pip had in his life. Her dying leaves Pip feeling guilty because he feels slightly responsible for it, since Orlick makes him think it was his own fault.
"The figure of my sister in her chair by the kitchen fire, haunted me night and day", (Dickens 269)
Return of Magwitch/Discovering his Real Benefactor
When Magwitch returns and reveals himself as Pip's benefactor, Pip is shocked and realizes he has zero chance to be with Estella. He has lost all hope and his expectations are not fulfilled. He stops accepting the convict's money out of shame and falls into debt. Magwitch is still a convict, so Pip now has to help him escape from the cops.
"I swore afterwards, 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", (Dickens 309)
Drummle and Estella
Pip is devastated to find out that Estella is to marry Drummle. Drummle was rude and cruel to Pip to begin with, so when he finds out he is going to marry his love, it makes him even more upset. He tries to convince Estella not to go through with the marriage, but her mind is already made up, leaving Pip heart broken.
"Estella, dearest dearest Estella, do not less Miss Havisham lead you into this fatal step", (Dickens 350)
Pip instantly has an attraction to Estella and he longs to win her heart, but she plays with his emotions. She makes fun of his poverty, but flirts with him as well. She treats him with no respect, but Pip still wants her approval. This is a long-term obstacle that Pip deals with for a majority of the book and ultimately makes him rethink his life and his social standing. Her opinion heavily affects Pip and how he views himself.
"I was so humiliated, hurt, spurned, offended, angry, sorry-I cannot hit upon the right name for the smart-God knows what its name was-that tears started coming to my eyes. That moment they sprang there, the girl looked at me with a quick delight in having been the cause of the them", (Dickens 60)
Road of Trials
Miss Havisham and the Fire
Pip goes to save Miss Havisham when her room ignites in flames. This serves as a physical obstacle because he has to fight a fire, but this also makes Pip realize that he cares for the lady because he doesn't hesitate to save her.
"I looked into the room where I had left her, and I saw her seated in the ragged chair upon the hearth close to the fire, with her back towards me. In the moment when I was withdrawing my head to go quietly away, I saw a great flaming light spring up", (Dickens 386)
The Saving Experience
At the marshes, Orlick is about to attack Pip with a stone hammer. Pip is terrified of what is going on, but suddenly Herbert and a few others run in and save him. Orlick would have taken Pip's life if it weren't for those boys. Pip is able to escape this situation with his life.
"In the same instant I heard responsive shouts, saw figures and a gleam of light dash in at the door, heard voices and tumult, and saw Orlick emerge from a struggle of me, as it it were tumbling water, clear the table at a leap, and fly out into the night", (Dickens 412)
Pip's transformation begins when he goes to the marshes and ends up having an altercation with Orlick. This was his abyss, but he is able to overcome this with the help of a few allies. Later, Joe pays off his debts and forgives Pip for his rude behavior towards him. It is then when Pip realizes your social class does not determine how good of a person you can become. He now thinks titles are useless and no longer wants to be a high class gentleman.
"Many a year went round, before I was a partner in the House; but I lived happily with Herbert and his wife, and lived frugally, and paid my debts, and maintained a constant correspondence with Biddy and Joe", (Dickens 462)
Pip's return to his normal life is when he goes back to his hometown, for good. He first goes back to marry Biddy, but when he discovers she is going to marry Joe, Pip moves in with Herbert. He takes on many responsibilties that he previously ignored, such as his finances and attempting to mend his relationship with Joe.
"I sold all I had, and put aside as much as I could, for a composition with my creditors-who gave me ample time to pay them in full-and I went out and joined Herbert", (Dickens 462)
Sharing of the Gift
The main gift that Pip brings back to his normal world is the life lesson he learned: your social class does not reflect the type of person you are on the inside. He shares this by simply treating his loved ones with a new founded sense of respect and by treating them with kindness. He also learns to live contently with what he has, instead of longing for something more. Pip shares this lesson with Estella in the last scene.
"...-now, when suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken- I hope- into a better shape. Be as considerate and good to me as you were, and tell me we are friends", (Dickens 462)
Pip's Journey vs. Our Own
Pip and his adventure into maturity can relate closely to our own journey. A main lesson seen in this book is that a person's social standing does not necessarily reflect what type of person they are on the inside. Joe's character proved this when Pip says "He was a mild, good-natured, sweet-tempered, easy-going, foolish, dear fellow-a sort of Hercules in strength, and also in weakness", (Dickens 8). Joe was essentially a good man, even though he was very poor. Through Joe's naturally good character, despite his social class, we learn that your position in society does not equal what kind of person you are. This is important to remember when we are maturing because we should never judge anyone or make assumptions based on how much money or power they may have. Another lesson that can be learned while reading this book is the importance of family. Pip tells Joe "You may be sure, dear Joe that I shall never forget you", (Dickens 142). Pip explains to Joe that he will not forget Joe, but unfortunately when he moves to London and experiences upper class living, he completely forgets about Joe and slowly loses contact with him. We see in the end that Joe still continues to help Pip, despite his stuck up behavior, and pays off his debts and remains loyal to his little brother. When we grow older and begin to gain more independence, it is extremely important to remember your family, because at the end of the day through the good times and bad times, they are always there to pick you up when you fall. Joe's character exemplifies this in the novel. While Pip is maturing into a man, his story teaches us not to judge others based on their social circumstances and to remember how important family is.
Joe is the loyal sidekick ally archetype. He is there to support Pip when he was a poor, little boy and remained there when he became a rich adult. Whether it was defending Pip from Mrs. Joe or paying off his debts, he showed constant care and love throughout the entire novel. He even remained loyal when Pip began to think he was better than Joe. Joe ultimately served as a loyal and supportive friend to Pip.
"But I did mind you, Pip. When I offered to your sister to keep company, and to be asked in church at such times as she was willing and ready to come to the forge, I said to her, 'And bring the poor little child. God bless the poor little child,' I said to your sister, 'there's room for
at the forge", (Dickens 47)
Mrs. Joe fits the terrible mother archetype. She abuses Pip and Joe, physically and verbally. Mrs. Joe does not show true love or compassion to either boy, and constantly makes both of them feel bad about everything. One of the characteristics of the terrible mother is fear, which is something Mrs. Joe causes in Pip by raising him by hand.
"My sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, was more than twenty years older than I, and had established a great reputation with herself and the neighbours because she had brought me up "by hand"", (Dickens 8)
Mrs. Havisham fits the clown archetype. She is cruel to all men, and we see this mainly through her cruelness towards Pip. She torments Pip in the hopes he would fall in love with Estella, knowing Estella would break his heart. Mrs. Havisham has some good intentions though, which is why she is the clown archetype and not the fool.
"Before I could answer (if I could have answered so difficult a question at all), she repeated, "Love her, love her, love her! If she favours you, love you. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces-and as it gets older and stronger it will tear deeper-love her, love her, love her", (Dickens 231)
Herbert Pocket is another loyal sidekick to Pip. We see that Herbert possesses all of the qualities that Pip lacks. He helps Pip through his journey in London, and eventually saves his life. He later gives Pip a place to live and a job as well. Herbert remains with Pip through his good and bad times and also helps him become a better person.
"Herbert received me with open arms, and I had never felt before, so blessedly, what it is to have a friend", (Dickens 361)
Magwitch fits the wise old man archetype. Though Magwitch is not seen through out a lot of the story, he acts as Pip's savior and teaches him a very valuable lesson. He turns out to be Pip's benefactor which is what enabled Pip to become a gentleman. Magwitch wanted Pip to have a better life than he did, so he was kind and used his knowledge to provide for him. In doing so, he teaches Pip that despite your social standing, anyone is able to work hard to help others.
"Look'ee here Pip. I'm your second father. You're my son- more to me nor any son. I've put away money, only for you to spend", (Dickens 309).
Estella plays the role of the temptress. She constantly plays with Pip's emotions, flirting with him one minute and then warning him that she is going to break his heart the next. He torments him and causes him a lot of pain. She distracts Pip on multiple occasions from his heroic journey and causes him to focus on her.
"I have not bestowed my tenderness anywhere I have never had any such thing", (Dickens 229)