Great Expectations

Kyle Olson

How would you define a gentleman? Ask one-hundred different people and you would get one-hundred different answers. Pip shows many gentlemanly qualities like selflessness and genuineness. Both are very major qualities to be a gentleman. Pip must work towards these to achieve them, though. They don’t just come over night. In the final resolution of Great Expectations, Pip personifies the gentlemanly qualities of selflessness and genuineness.
Pip’s quality of selflessness defines him as a gentleman throughout Great Expectations. Pip shows many times how he has grown and enjoys to help others. While at Wemmick’s ‘castle’, Pip addresses Wemmick, “…I sought advice from [your] experiences and knowledge of men and affairs, how I could best try with my resources to help Herbert to some present income – say of a hundred a year, to keep him in good hope and heart – and gradually to buy him on to some small partnership” (297). To address this shows Pip’s selflessness towards others. All he wants is to see Herbert flourish and be happy no matter the cost. Earlier, he would’ve kept all the money for himself to be ‘happy’. When Pip has the chance, he visits Satis house and talks with Miss Havisham. She gives Pip a receipt for money from Jaggers and says, “This is an authority to him to pay you that money, to lay out at your irresponsible discretion for your friend” (400). To ask Miss Havisham for money to give away is a lot of growth from how Pip used to act. His selflessness helps Miss Havisham become more kind as well. Pip could just keep the money she gives him, but instead uses it to make someone else’s dreams come true. This selflessness shows a quality of how Pip transforms into a gentleman throughout Great Expectations.
Further, Pip’s quality of genuineness also defines him as a gentleman throughout the novel. His actions and words are all very kind. For his position, Pip doesn’t have to be nice. Most people that run into money become...