Pip in Great Expectations: Character Analysis & Overview

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  • 0:03 Who Is Pip?
  • 0:53 Character Analysis
  • 2:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shamekia Thomas

Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Pip is the protagonist and narrator in the popular novel ''Great Expectations'' written by Charles Dickens. In this lesson, we'll learn more about Pip's character as we follow the story of Pip's growth into a man.

Who is Pip?

Imagine growing up orphaned by your parents. It might be difficult to navigate the world and know what to expect from others. You might spend most of your time trying to figure out how to be successful and grow into a respectable woman or man. The novel Great Expectations, written by Charles Dickens, tells the story of a boy who does just that.

Great Expectations is a coming of age novel, a novel that focuses on the maturity of the protagonist from childhood to adulthood. It tells the story of Philip Pirrip, or Pip. Pip is the protagonist (main character) and the narrator of the story. Pip tells readers the story of things that took place in his life as he grew into adulthood. Pip lacks knowledge of the world and the ways of people. He views life and success in naïve ways, but like all of us, eventually matures and grows as a person.

Character Analysis

Pip is a poor boy who grew up orphaned but wants to make over his life after he meets the wealthy Miss Havisham and falls in love with Estella. Pip is treated badly by Miss Havisham and Estella, and it hurts him. Pip is raised by his sister and her husband, Joe, but is mistreated and does not feel a special connection to anyone. When Pip meets Miss Havisham and Estella, he starts to believe if he becomes a rich gentleman, his life will be different, and wealthy people will treat him better.

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