Great Expectations – Character analysis of Pip
The main character, Pip, is portrayed as being a straightforward and shy person who bends under the will of his sister and uncle.
The beginning of the movie shows Pip being chased by a convict (who forces Pip to give him food). In the background, birds fly around continuously and seem to follow him, and the scene is filmed in high angle and is a long shot. This use of visual technique reflects upon the audience’s thoughts as to what happens, and allows us to think that Pip may be constantly followed throughout his time. It also shows us that Pip is insignificant to the world around him, and that he may also be powerless against it. Another visual technique can be observed, shown in the scene where Pip’s face is reflected on the water and the blacksmith plunging hot iron into it. This can be interpreted as an omen, and gives us an insight into thinking that Pip will also live a disturbing life.
After meeting the convict, Pip is invited by Miss Havisham to visit her and Estella at Satis house. This is a major change in Pip’s life, and when he first meets Estella, they dislike each other. However, after a few years, Pip discovers a love for her that even he did not expect. Pip then becomes an apprentice for the blacksmith Joe.
When Pip reaches manhood, his life changes. He meets an attorney from the higher class, and is informed that he will be trained to be a gentleman (sponsored by an anonymous person) and be entitled to property. Another visual image can be observed here, and it is when Pip leaves Satis house in anger. He takes a deck of cards with him, and a Jack of Diamonds is shown. This seems to symbolise that Pip will live a rich life (diamonds depicting riches).
When Pip goes to live in London, he is assigned to a house and meets his new roommate, Herbert. Herbert is a related to Miss Havisham, and Pip confessed his love of Estella to Herbert. Herbert warns him of Estella, but Pip ignores Herbert. We can observe here that Pip becomes foolish and thinks that he can get anything he wants because of his new position.
Further on in the movie, Estella goes to London and meets with Pip. During a meeting of “The Finches of the Grove,” Pip learns that Drummle is also interested in Estella. Drummle proposes a toast to her, and Pip accuses him of not even knowing her. However, when Drummle presents evidence that he and Estella have danced together already, Pip is forced to make an apology. This camera shot is a long shot. After viewing this scene, we can say that Pip has become very rash, and he acts before thinking of the consequences that may result. Again, the camera techniques also seem to emphasize that Pip is insignificant.
Towards the end of the movie, Pip finds who his anonymous sponsor was: the convict at the beginning of the movie. Pip had thought it was Miss Havisham, and in the end discovers that she has been nothing but a nuisance in his life. Pip then finds that his hastiness has only led him to abandon Joe.