Traditionally, a mentor is an advisor that leads their protege on an improved and beneficial path than their current path in life. However, the mentor and pupil relationship between Pip and Miss. Havisham contradicts tradition. Miss Havisham influences the outcome of Pip’s life by exposing him to the idea of wealth and its relation to social status. In “Great Expectation” by Dickens Pip’s expectation of wanting to be a gentleman shows that reality is sometimes ignored when it doesn’t fit within the same premises of the desired expectation.
Pip is introduced to Estella by Miss Havisham when he visits her home at “Satis house,” but Estella’s attitude towards Pip’s social status causes Pip to envisage the idea that he is inadequate. Pip was raised in a blacksmith’s family, and when he matures, he was to become a blacksmith. Pip had no protestation to this aforementioned future until he goes to “Satis house,” and is made to feel moronic. Estella calls him a “common laboring boy”, and tantalizes him about his physical appearance- his “… coarse hands… and] thick boots. ”
Because Estella was raised by Miss Havisham, who is wealthy, of a higher social class and Pip’s mentor, Pip consumes everything Estella says as the truth, and starts to resent himself, and his future profession. Dickens’ use of words like “denounced” and “beggared” when he is talking about the revulsion Estella feels towards having to interact with Pip, the “stupid, clumsy laboring-boy” shows that Estella does not simply disapprove of Pip’s presence rather she loathes his entire existence.
To further enforce the colossal difference between Estella and Pip’s social status she constantly calls him “boy” even though they are approximately the same age. At the end of his first visit, Pip comes to the convictions that if he becomes a blacksmith he will forever remain unrefined, and ignorant to be in the presence of people like Miss. Havisham and Estella. Pip assimilates Estella’s detestation of him and makes it his own. Which is shown through the new feelings he develops about himself.
On his walk home, he calls his habit “despicable”, himself “common… ignorant… and generally… a low-lived bad way,” and his boots and hands “vulgar appendages. ” However, he does not resent Estella for making him feel repulsion about himself. Instead, he blames his sister and Joe, who are less refined and wealthy, for not breeding him to look and be more elegant. He even goes as far as wishing for Joe to have been raised more “genteelly”, so he too would have been raised that way.
Joe was Pip’s best friend and hero, but because of Miss Havisham and Estella he begins to resent Joe for being a blacksmith, for not being educated enough, and not being of a more elevated social class. Pip rejects his long lasting friendship with Joe in an attempt to please Estella which in turn will please Miss Havisham. The relationship developed through Pip’s visits to the “Satis house” is the fuel to his expectation of becoming a gentleman.
When Pip meets Estella for the first time, even though she’s impudent, brusque, and inconsiderate of Pip’s or anyone’s feelings, he divulges to Miss Havisham that she’s “… proud… [and] very pretty… ,” and while she has saddened him immeasurably he would not object to seeing her again. During the entirety of Pip and Estella’s card game, Miss Havisham constantly puts her expensive and sparkling jewelry on Estella to make her more appealing to Pip. While Pip is finding Estella appealing, she ridicules him constantly for calling “knaves Jacks.
At the end of the game, Pip requests to leave because he’s had enough of Estella’s malignity for the day. However, before he can leave, Miss Havisham instructs Estella to feed Pip some bread, meat, and wine. When Estella is giving him the food, she treats him like a “dog in disgrace” and that makes him hurt so deeply that he cries. However, Pip feels indignation towards himself because he can not think of the “… right name… ” to describe his feelings. Dickens references Estella treating Pip as a “dog” to show just how vicious and pitiless Estella truly was.
Yet, Pip claims he did not cry about the way she treats him, but because he couldn’t remember the appropriate term for his feelings. Miss Havisham also constantly encourages Pip to love Estella when she knows that Estella is incapable of reciprocating Pip’s love. As a mentor, Miss Havisham did not have Pip’s best interest at heart because she wanted Estella to make Pip love her then break his heart so she[Miss Havisham] can get her revenge on the men population. Pip refuses to accept that Estella is vile and unchanging but blames this horrendous day in its entirety on his lack of social status.
He also reasons that becoming a gentleman, will ma him more suitable for Estella and Miss Havisham’s company, and he mentally makes the decision to do whatever it takes to get the respect and acceptance of both ladies even if it is losing the respect and honor he had for his dear friend Joe, or altering his entire future. Pip was an orphan going through the pains and wrongs done to him by his sister, and enthusiastically waiting for the day he can work alongside Joe.
Then, he gets invited to “Satis house”, and decides he does not want to go through life ignorant or become a blacksmith when he is older. Pip willingly and knowingly makes a mental agreement with himself to become a gentleman because he believes that would be the best choice to improve himself, so he is more compatible for Estella and Miss Havisham social standings. Pip desire to change himself show that to alter his fate, a man has to change himself, and those change might not always be for the better.