Who are some of the main characters in "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens?


Quick Answer

Three of the main characters in Charles Dickens' book "Great Expectations" are Pip, whose real name is Philip Pirrip, Estella and Miss Havisham. Pip serves as both the protagonist and narrator of this coming-of-age story.

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Full Answer

The character of Pip is twofold, as the story is told from an older Pip, many years after the actual events of the story take place. The older narrator Pip is able to poke fun at the ideals of his younger self while still enabling the reader to feel exactly what Pip felt during his early years. Stuck between the ideas of romanticism and longing to be part of the gentleman's class, young Pip eventually yields to the ways of advancing socially, meanwhile, losing the love of his life and stepping on those who care about him.

Estella is the love of Pip's life. Despite her cruel ways towards men and indifference to Pip's attention, Estella learns that there is a stark difference between her high social class and her happiness. She does not marry commoner Pip, but instead, marries the cruel nobleman Drummle, who treats her harshly. Estella eventually does learn to rely on her inner feelings and realizes that her suffering has made her a stronger person.

Miss Havisham raised Estella in a higher class than what her father, Magpie, is able to. She is crazy, wealthy and never moves beyond losing the love of her life on her wedding day. She teaches Estella to treat men cruelly and uses her as a weapon against men. Nevertheless, by the end of the novel, she realizes that she has caused Pip's heart to be broken just as hers was many years before.

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