It is funny how people take the influence adults have had on them for granted; this influence could be either in a positive or negative way. Adults could influence children into blindly doing things, such as a rapper who normally uses violent language influences a young listener into thinking that inappropriate language is alright to use. There is a saying that one could describe a child’s parent by studying their behavior. In the Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Pip and Estella were shaped emotionally and psychologically by the influence of the adults around them.
In the Great Expectation by Charles Dickens, Estella was highly influenced by Miss Havisham who was a parental figure in her life at a tender age. Miss Havisham totally created Estella’s character saying, “that she had done a grievous thing in an impressionable child to mould into the form that her wild resentment, spurned affection, and wounded pride, found vengeance in,” therefore influencing Estella to turn into a cold hearted person (Dickens 399). Dickens uses the character of Miss Havisham to show the psychological influence adults have on children.
Miss Havisham was heartbroken; she was totally misled by the fraud of her fiance Compeyson and her brother Arthur; therefore seeking vengeance and revenge in breaking men’s hearts. Miss Havisham’s state was portrayed by Estella’s life; one would say she is a complete clone of Miss Havisham. She expected Estella to return love to her while they lived in a dead house, “I am what you made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame” (Dickens 304). Estella was totally driven by Miss Havisham’s desire. There is a saying that you reap what you sow. Miss Havisham reaped what she planted in Estella by grooming her not to love.
Estella could not love back because she never knew how to love in the first place, as she explains to Pip, “And if you asked me to give you what you never gave me, my gratitude and duty cannot do impossibilities”(Dickens 383). Estella was not the only one who was affected by the psychological effect of adults, Pip also experienced it. Throughout the Great Expectations, the people around Pip played a key role in his psychological development. Pip matures throughout the book due to the influence the people around had on him. In the beginning of the novel, Pip’s encounter with Magwitch in the marshes changed his whole life. I never thought I was going to rob Joe, for I never thought of any of the housekeeping property was as his…” (Dickens 13). Pip was raised under the strict hands of his sister and the love of the kind Joe, who grounded him morally; but due to his encounter with Magwitch, he lost his innocence. “[Magwitch] titled me over a little more, so as to give me a greater sense of helplessness and danger. ‘You get me a file’. He titled me again. ‘And you get me wittles” (Dickens 5). Magwitch enforced fear into Pip at tender age therefore breaking his innocence. Miss Havisham was also a big influence in Pip’s life.
Before Pip visited the Satis house he was content with whom he was; he totally changed after the visit. Pip shares with Joe that he “felt very miserable, and that I hadn’t been able to explain myself to Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook, who were so rude to me, and that there had been beautiful young lady at Miss Havisham’s who was dreadfully proud, and that she had said I was common, and that I knew I was common, and that I wished I was not common, and that the lies had come of it somehow, though I didn’t know how (Dickens 67). Even though Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook were rude to Pip, Pip was not really affected by that till he visited the Satis House.
Pip wished he was uncommon due to the proudness of Estella. “I became aware of a strange gentleman leaning over the back of contempt on his face, and he bit the side of a great forefinger as he watched the group of faces. ”(Dickens 133) After seeing Estella at the Satis house, and realizing his position, he wanted to be a gentleman. He realized the essence and result you get for been a gentleman. Even though Estella and Pip was psychological affected by Miss Havisham, Pip had Joe around him who was good influence in his life. Joe had a positive effect on Pip psychologically.
From day one, he never changed who he was; he showed love and forgiveness towards Pip. “He always aided and comforted me when he could, in some way of his own, and he always did so at dinner-time by giving me gravy, if there were any” (Dickens 26). Joe represented a positive parental figure in Pip’s life, while Estella was trapped with Miss Havisham, who was certainly a negative influence in raising Estella. In all, Estella was enclosed with negative people who molded her life to become who she is. Pip and Estella were greatly affected by the people around even though Pip had positive people around.