The Importance Of Selfish Nature In Great Expectations By Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, illuminates the inherently selfish nature of people’s actions through the parental relationships of Pip and Joe, Pip and Magwitch, and Miss Havisham and Estella. Despite the supposed familial qualities of these relationships, the insinuation of the characters’ actions in volumes one and two demonstrate the selfish nature of human intent. However, in the final volume, Dickens illustrates the ability to redeem one’s nature through admittance in the final volume, as the characters began to reflect on their actions. The relationship between Miss Havisham and Estella and the reason behind Miss Havisham’s adoption of Estella illustrate the narcissistic nature of people. In volume one, Miss Havisham implies …show more content…
Pip becomes obsessed with the idea of becoming a gentleman after meeting Estella, so when a mysterious benefactor gives him the chance to “make something of himself,” he takes advantage of the money given to him, leaving behind Joe Gargery, his sister’s kind, blacksmith husband. Joe cared for Pip when his sister abused Pip, and supported him throughout his childhood, but the minute Pip received greater expectations for his future, he forgot his past. When Joe visited Pip in London, Pip selfishly dismissed him because of his embarrassment towards a “lower class blacksmith” and Joe begins to understand that “You [Pip] and me is not two figures to be together in London; nor yet anywheres else but what is private, and beknown, and understood among friends”. Pip had become a narcissistic sycophant after receiving his "great expectations." He took advantage of Joe until volume three, where he finally realised the horrible, dismissive attitude he had directed towards Joe. He finally begins to redeem himself by giving up his potential life with Biddy for Joe's happiness with her, wishing them " charity and love with all mankind" asking for their …show more content…
Pip's final redemption of his selfish intent began with his acceptance and aid towards Magwitch. When Pip found out that a convict had been his benefactor, he wanted nothing to do with him. Pip had intended to leave Magwitch, but only through his decision to stay with Magwitch, did Pip finally begin to redeem himself. Finally, when Pip and Magwitch were on the run, and Magwitch was dying, Pip stayed by his side until the end, realising that he had become obsessed and ignorant: "my repugnance to him had all melted away, and in the hunted wounded shackled creature who held my hand in his, I saw a man who...felt affectionately, gratefully, and generously, towards me with great constancy through a series of years.” Through becoming aware of the fact that he had cast aside the support of both Magwitch and Joe, Pip discovered that “he [Magwitch] was a much better man than I had been to Joe.” Pip’s redemption arc further proves the point that Dickens’ made in Great Expectations, showing that through admittance, the selfish intent of people can be forgiven. As illuminated through the familial relations of Pip and Joe, Pip and Magwitch, and Miss Havisham and Estella, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, demonstrates the narcissistic nature of people. However, despite the central focus of the first two volumes to be the egoistic

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