Pip’s Guilt Honors Literature Freshman The book “Great Expectations” is a memoir of an old man’s journey through his life. As he describes the stories and anecdotes he had experienced, he also showed us his difficulties with finding an objective in life. He had many difficulties with finding a role in life. The biggest issue that Pip faces often is his own guilt; he often regrets half of the things he does, and new problems always seem to just present themselves to Pip that send his guilt skyrocketing every single time.
Pip has had to face with guilt Pip faces guilt right from the beginning of the novel, when he meets the escaped convict. At first he his threatened by the convict, but after he finds out that Pip is an orphan, the convict empathizes, and eases up on his threats while still keeping up his threatening demeanor. Pip ends up helping the convict by getting food for him; he appears to do this out of compassion for the convict, not fear. When Pip returns with food for the convict, it turns out there was another escapee waiting there too.
With no sign of the other convict; this convict takes all of Pip’s food and the file so he can break free of the shackles. As Pip runs away and approaches his house, he feels a great amount of guilt for helping the convict; if he chose to run away from the start he could’ve avoided this problem. This guilt gets increasingly worse when he gets home because of the big Pre-Christmas Dinner at his house. People like Uncle Pumblechook, and Mr. Wopsle are present there and hell breaks loose, at least it seemed that way for Pip!
The first incident that occurs is when Pumblechook asks for brandy, but Pip is afraid because he switched the Brandy with tar-water earlier to give some of the brandy to the convict. The impeding guilt that resides within Pip is so strong that he gets a panic attack whenever is secret is close to being revealed. After the Dinner, Pip feels an even stronger sense of guilt for the convict, because during the dinner, cops arrive to Pip’s house asking if they’ve seen two escaped convicts.
Pip is extremely scared now, not for the chance that he will be caught helping the convict, but by the fact that convict is being hunted down by the police. Pip and Joe decide to help the police with the manhunt, eventually, they end up finding him and the other convict too. While being confronted, the convict takes blame for stealing food from Joe, instead of putting Pip under the bus. This actually causes even more guilt and grievance for Pip.
Years pass by, and the guilt of this incident is still killing him inside, he struggles in school, social activities, but he still gets by. Pip soon gets acquainted with the wealthy and loyalty. He meets a pretty girl named Estella who rudely rejects Pip, he return home crying, but he makes up a story to Joe that made it sound like he a really good time at Estella’s house. When Pip confesses that he made up the story, Joe decides that he can teach Pip the path of truth by bringing him in as an apprentice for blacksmithing.
Pip’s Guilt is a central theme to the story, it symbolizes the fact that the past will always haunt you in the future; guilt will take over and make you struggle with success. Pip’s guilt started with him helping the convict as an act of compassion. The big question is; was that really a crime? The convict was a good man; he took the blame for Pip! Pip’s guilt puts him in a really difficult position, he could get arrested for doing something compassionate, for someone who really needed food, and it was Christmas.