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Week 11 GE Round 1

Course Code
ENGL 231

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Just as Pip begins to think that becoming a gentleman is out of reach and being a blacksmith
might not be so bad after all, he hits the jackpot. Starting in chapter 19 we learn that a
mysterious benefactor left Pip a fortune and he goes to London to pursue his new life and
dream of becoming a gentleman. This gives Pip a new found hope and he truly believes that he
can make his dreams come true.
Unfortunately, Pip quickly lets some of his new found status go to his head when he insincerely
bids Joe farewell and then asks Biddy to teach Joe all she knows so that he might one day be
worthy of his society. This is when we see Pip’s personality shift from fearful and innocent to
ungrateful and snobby. This is until Pip gets an unexpected visitor at his door.
Although most people probably saw it coming, I was very surprised to find out that Pip's
benefactor was Abel Magwitch! This is the turning point for all of Pip’s great expectations. He
lost his fortune and gained a convict. Pip realized that he has not been financed and supported
by Miss Havisham which means his fortune is unclean. Having money that has been earned by
an exiled convict does not look very good for someone who is claiming to be a gentleman. Pip
also realized that he is not destined for Estella after all. All of his hopes and dreams were
crushed just like that. This gives Pip a new understanding of everything he thought he knew
about his money, families, and legitimacy as a gentleman. He learns that there is much more to
being a gentleman than having nice boots and soft hands. These realizations represent
prevalent themes such as the coming of age and loss of innocence which are depicted
throughout the entire novel.
I can relate to Pip when he no longer wanted to claim Joe. I went through a phase in my life
when I felt like everything my parents did embarrassed me. I wouldn’t even want to be seen
getting dropped off by them at school because I thought it was uncool.
1. How does Magwitch make his money?
2. Do you think Pip values his friendships at all? Why or why not? Does he value
friendships differently?
3. What do you think Pip will do now that he has discover who his benefactor is?
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