The Great Expectations of Pip: A Downward Spiral I deliberated with an aching heart whether I would not get down when we changed horses and walk back, and have another evening at home, and a better parting. This sentence in Charles Dickens Great Expectations seems to sum up the strife and burden that has been put on Pip s shoulders since Mr. Jaggers announcement of Pip s great expectations. Pip s fortune, or expectations, change him for better and worse, and also affect other people in the story. Pip s great expectations affect him dramatically, and some good comes out of his increase in wealth. Pip s generosity with his new-found wealth is shown in chapter 36, when he sponsors his friend Herbert, when he is in a financial mess (314).
This shows Pip's unselfish and generous nature when he helps Herbert. Pip's maturity is evident when he asks his identity to be kept secret, as he knows that Herbert's dignity would be hurt if Pip gave him financial help. Another example of Pip s great expectations helping others can be found in chapter 30 where Pip sends a penitential codfish and barrel of oysters to Joe (267). This once again shows his generous side, even if out of guilt. Pip s fortune affects Joe in a materialistic positive light, as Pip is now able to purchase more goods for others. The ability to support himself and others financially, are the only good things that come out of Pip s fortune.
Pip s overall self-development, however, changes for the worse due to his fortune and trying to find his place in society. One of the worst consequences of Pip s expectations is the barrier between him and his friend, Joe Garg ery. The growing distance between Pip and Joe are painfully obvious in chapter 27 when Joe comes to London to visit Pip. Here Pip fears his old friend will embarrass him, and is full of apprehensions that any of his newly found refines society friends might see him in the company of a lower-class blacksmith. This really shows the shallowness and snobbery of Pip after his recent fortune, as Pip thinks himself too good to bee seen with a mere blacksmith. Joe s warm advances are met with cold class-consciousness, and when humble Joe calls Pip sir, bad vibes hit an all time low for the former best friends.
Soon, even Joe seems uneasy, and Joe senses that he is no longer suitable company. Another example of the widening crack separating Pip and Joe is found in chapter 30, where Pip visits Miss Hav isham, but neglects to visit his Joe (as well his sister, among others). This shows that Pip has come to the point where he no longer feels comfortable with visiting Joe. Pip does feel guilt about this, but continues to leave without visiting his family. In chapter 35 Pip s downward spiral is evident after news of Mrs. Joe s death arrives.
Pip doesn t even mourn his own sisters death. Pip s fortune, or expectations, affect other people in the story dramatically. Pip s fortune most of all affect his only true friend, Joe. Due to Pip s leaving the forge, Pip and Joe grow apart somewhat due to the distance between them.
This distance is widened in chapter 30 when Joe attempts to visit Pip, and Joe gets the cold shoulder. Another former friend that had seemed to be forgotten was Biddy. There is evidence of this in Biddy s letter to Pip in chapter 27. We talk of you in the kitchen every night... If now considered in the light of a liberty, excuse it for the love of poor old days...
Your ever obliged, and affectionate servant, Biddy (237). This letter shows the love and constancy Biddy has for Pip and her wishes to meet with him again. The most poignant incident occurs when Biddy calls Pip Mr. Pip at Mrs.
Joe s funeral in chapter 35. It is here that Pip tries to make Biddy believe that he will come to visit more often, but she know s he will not. Pip seems to even realize that Biddy s lack of faith in him is probably justified; he loves Estella too much too risk her displeasure. When Pip s expectations brought him to London, Pip helped Herbert out when Herbert was in a financial strain (chapter 36). Pip explained that Herbert is trying to get on in commercial life, but has no money, and finds it difficult and disheartening to make a beginning (314). This shows the extent that Pip s fortune can affect others in a positive way, as his monies were mostly wasted on materialistic desires, instead of being used practical manner.
There has been much strife and burden that has been put on Pip s shoulders since Mr. Jaggers announcement of Pip s great expectations. These expectations change Pip for the worse overall, as Great Expectations by Dickens clearly shows Pip in a downward emotional spiral since he left his hometown. The subtle changes in him over the years seem obvious to everyone but himself. Pip is troubled by his won shortcomings in response to Biddy and Joe s love, but is so caught up in his own expectations, he does not know how to deal with his own downfall. He is headed for a great fall, economically and emotionally..