Character Sketch of Pip
Philip Pirrip, known as Pip, is the hero of the novel Great Expectations. He is undoubtedly one of the best drawn heroes of Dickens. He is most naturally conceived of all his creations. He himself is the narrator of the story of the novel. The novel is an account of his moral education.
An orphan : Pip is an Orphan. He is brought up by his sister Mrs. Joe Gargery whose husband is a blacksmith. His sister treats him badly. Pip writes,” I was always treated as if I had insisted on being both in opposition to the dicates of reason, religion and morality and against the dissuading arguments of my best friends.” He suffers humiliation having no social prestige and dignity of human being. He is treated as a dog even by Estella at Miss Havisham’s house. His childhood is full of shame, dishonour and reproach. His sister calls him small and flabby and mean’. At other times she calls him young monkey.
A sensitive boy : Pip is very sensitive boy. Certain incidents occur in his wife when we find him easily hurt Abel Magwitch threatens him in the churchyard. He asks Pip to bring him food and file the next morning. He steals food and file. He does not disclose the incident of meeting the Convict and supplies him with food and file. He cannot sleep that night. He again gets frightened when he is forced to fight with Herbert in the Courtyard of Miss Havisham’s house. Later when Magwitch arrives at London to settle with him, he is frightened too much so that he is unwilling to accept any sort of financial help from him.
His conscience : Whenever Pip commits any wrong, his conscience rebukes him. Askes by the convict, he steals food and file for him. When he goes with stolen food and file to the marshes, he feels extremely uneasy. His conscience rebukes him, when he has thrown dust into the eyes of Mr. Joe Gargery and tells lies when he comes back from Miss Havisham’s house. He feels uneasy and so reveals the truth to Mr. Joe. He says, “Towards Joe and Joe only. I considered myself as a young Monster.” His conscience rebuke him for being” On secret terms of conspiracy with convicts-fa feature in my low career that I had previously forgotten.”
His Inferiority Complex : Pip’s life has been full of shame and reproach, so he has inferiority complex. He is ill-treated by his sister. Estella, a young, proud and beautiful girl calls him stupid, clumsy and coarse monster, he feels hurt and humiliated. This give him a sense of inferiority complex which urges him towards self-improvement. He starts attending a school to became a ‘gentleman’. The Smithy job become a common, coarse and rough job for him. When he comes back from London to his native town, she stays, not at smithy but at an inn.
Noble at heart : Pip possesses a noble heart. He readily forgive those who seek his forgiveness. Miss Havisham deceive him and poses to be his well-wisher. At last she repents for her wrong doings, she shrieks ‘What have I done!’ Pip forgives her. He also forgives Estella when she has separated from her husband. He proposes marriage to her and forgets all the injuries she have done to him. Proff. Baker says “Pip’s character-study is Dickens” One serious study of the growth of personality : and though he lets Pip tell the story. He manages with great skill to bring out the truth significance and the humour of the stranger situations, without showing his own hand………………”
His Love for Joe : Pip loves Joe even more his sister. He lives with Joe since his childhood. He lies to his sister but he reveals the reality to his early benefactor. Joe, too gives him love and affection when he is a small boy. He nurses Pip when the latter falls sick. He also pays off all the debts and wishes him a bright life. However, Pip turns into a snob and his attitude towards Joe changes later.
His passion for Estella : Pip is attracted towards Estella who is beautiful but proud girl. He has a great passion for her. He first happens to met her at Estella’s house and ever since then, he begins to love her though she asks him not to be hopeful about her love. He continues to love her inspite of her repealed warning. He feels extremely frustrated when he is informed that Estella is going to be married to Drummle. He cries out, “All gone! all gone!” But his is true love. He succeeds in winning her though late when she is greatly changed and has lost the freshness of her youth.
His Faithfulness : Pip is a faithful boy. He is faithful to Mr. and Mrs. Joe. He is faithful to Miss Havisham. He is faithful to Able Magwitch. He gives him food and file in the churchyard under coercion but later he provides him shelter in London. He tries to rescue him from danger. He plans to escape with him abroad.
A true friend : Pip is a true and sincere friend. he lives with Herbert in an apartment of an inn in London. He helps him money. When he is given a certain amount of money, he plans to help Herbert who is over head and ears in debt. Herbert is not aware of Pip’s kindness when which is kept secret from Herbert.
Reason Why we Sympathise with Pip : Pip has no glaring defect in his character. He is likeable character despite his snobbery for a short time. “The coarse and common labouring boy” becomes a young boy of Great Expectations. Whenever he does any wrong he experiences a keen sense of guilt. He makes a remarkable moral recovery and greatly rises in our estimation. Thus the whole novel is an account of Pip’s moral education.
Liking for Havisham : When Pip comes in contact with Miss Havisham, he feels extremely happy. He feels overjoyed men Miss Havisham asks him to love Estella. He writes about Havisham that she is an angel who is bringing him up as a gentleman. He says, “She adopted Estella, she had as good as adopted me and it could not fail to be her intention to bring us together. She reserved it for me to restore to desolate house, admit the sunshine into the dark room set the clocks against and the cold hearths blazing tear down the cobwebs, destroy her vermint in short, do all the shining deeds of the young knight of romance and marry the Princess.”
Thus, we see that despite his false values, Pip is the true hero of the novel. He is noble at heart. He is true and sincere friend. He is a true lover. He is a boy of aspiration, ambitions and Great Expectations.