Great Expectations- Morals Essay, Research Paper
Morals play an important part in everyday life. Morals are lessons taught by exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior. I believe that the purpose for Pip to tell his story of Great Expectations was for it to be used as a moral guide for people to follow. It was a way for Pip to show the readers about moral maturation, how people change, and to warn them about money, love, and what really matters.
In Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations, the main character Pip undergoes a constant moral maturing. Pip’s original childhood innocence was uncovered when he began to desire material wealth and influence. Pip spent his money recklessly until finally, after Pip realized the truth about people, his formerly selfish attitude turned considerate. He accepted others for who they are, not for what they look like or how much power and money they have. Pip shows us the importance of how to use your morals to become a better person. I believe that Pip’s telling of the story is pvitaols because it teaches us right from wrong.
The first stage Pip went through in his moral development was fear. In this stage, Pip’s main excuse for his actions was his fear of punishment. Pip displayed this because Mrs. Joe was constantly beating and threatening him. This kind of behavior made Pip very sensitive and easily swayed in his thoughts. A specific example of Pip acting out of fear was when he met Magwitch, his convict, on the marshes and was told to bring him a file and some whittles or else Pip’s liver would be ripped out by the convict’s friend. This made Pip steal from Mrs. Joe and lie to his family. This shows that morally, his fears are taking over, making it impossible for him to move ahead in the future and mature.
When Pip receives money, he begins to indulge himself. This is to make up for the past, when he lived in fear. Pip’s desires for self-satisfaction leaves him eventually with a broken heart, no money, and distance from his friends, Joe and Biddy. This stage in Pip’s life was brought on through his infatuation with Estella and his new fortune. Even though Pip had almost everything he could desire materially, he was not truly happy:
“‘…Fortune alone has raised me; that is being very lucky. And yet when I think of Estella-…. I cannot tell you how dependent and uncertain I feel.” (ch. 30, pg. 269)
Even after this, Pip still continues to spend without restraint. This does not make Pip truly happy because he is not being true to himself.
Pip changes to kindness when he realized that Magwitch was his benefactor and his allusions and expectations were all false. Pip realizes that he should not judge others based on appearance or assets, but rather on who they are on the inside. This point of change was made only after spending time with Magwitch and realizing how much he was grateful to him and how much Magwitch loved him. At first, he was almost embarrassed to be Magwitch’s acquaintance. After he comes to his realization that Magwitch is a good person, he beings to appreciate and value their friendship. Pip returns this love at the end of the novel:
“I will never stir from your side… when I am suffered to be near you. Please God, I will be as true to you as you have been to me.” (ch. 54, pg. 457)
Throughout the course of the book, Pip learned a lot and grew with his experiences. With age and experience, he realized what his personal morals were. He realized what is really valued in life after all the mistakes he made. He finally learned that money, power, and popularity are not the most important things and that with only these trivial ideas, life can be truly miserable. He learned that when he loved the people that truly loved him and he lived life as a genuine, sincere person, he could live life to the fullest in the utmost happiness.
Pip teaches us that if life is unhappy, a change in morals may be the key to modifying your future. He shows us that it is better to love those who love us back, not people who love you for your money or status. Pip shows the readers that money can have a very negative effect on people. It can make their morals totally become void and make them do things or be associated with people that they would not normally do.
In this story, Pip provides the world with an example of someone that was morally wrong but then developed in to a truly genuine character. He started as an innocent young boy who became rich and greedy and lost track of what really mattered. He then made the transition back to his old goodness. Pip went through a lot of stages in his life and by learning about these experiences, we can use them to make our own personal morals.
I believe that Pip’s reason for sharing his story to teach us morals so we don’t have to learn the hard way. He is warning us about the risks of being involved with money and corrupt people. Pip learned an important lesson by his actions and he wants to prevent us from making the same mistakes he made. Pip wasted most of his life in the turmoil and corruption that coincided with his moral choices and by telling this story, he is making sure that it does not happen to other people.