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Great Expectations 4 Essay, Research Paper


Sometimes in life you meet a person you want to be like. You idolize them, you

work on becoming the person they are. Ever so often, the person you idolize ends up

becoming your best friend. In Charles Dickens Great Expectations the characters Pip

and Herbert display this kind of friendship. Is a special richness possible in a friendship

when one person is working on being on the same level as another person?

A friendship is based on four key elements: trust, loyalty, honesty, and making a

connection. Friendship in a way is like a marriage between two people. You share your

soul, your secrets, you share your ups, downs, and arounds. You can t be yourself

without your friends. Your friends, exspecially your one true best friend, helps you learn

who you are. Some friends automatically click with eachother, other times friends have

to grow to become as close as they can be.

Sometimes friendships have the four key elements plus another factor that makes

the bond between two people even greater. Pip, the main character in Great Expectations,

and Herbert, Pip s best friend, have a special bond. They share all four of the key

elements. They trust eachother. Pip shares his secrets with Herbert. They are loyal to

one another. Through everything that happens they stay best friends. They are honest

with one another. Part of the special bond between them is because of Pip s desire to be

like Herbert and Herbert s dedication to helping Pip become a gentleman. Pip and

Herbert have a teacher/student relationship and it s what works best for them.

Pip and Herbert don t automatically start off being best friends. Pip does however

make a connection with Herbert at their first meeting in London. He says of Herbert,

Herbert Pocket had a frank and easy way with him that was very taking.

I had never seen any one then, and I have never seen any one since, who

more strongly expressed to me, in every look and tone, a natural incapacity

to do anything secret and mean. (205)

You can tell that Herbert takes an automatic liking to Pip by giving him his own

special name, Handel. Kind of like a pet name for a lover. Except in this instance it s a

pet name for a friend.

Herbert is kind to Pip in every way when teaching him. Herbert understands Pips

desire to learn how to become a gentleman and he also understands that Pip doesn t want

to feel stupid or inferior. Herbert shows his gentle way in this quote

Let me introduce the topic, Handel, by mentioning that in London it

is not the custom to put the knife in the mouth-for fear of accidents-and

that while the fork is reserved for that use, it is not put further in than

necessary. It is scarcely worth mentioning, only it s as well to do as

other people do. (207)

Throughout the process of Pips becoming a gentleman, Pip and Herbert become

closer and closer. They come to be almost as brothers. Pip confides everything into

Herbert. For awhile in the novel Herbert is the only one who sees and understands the

real Pip.

During the many years in the novel they stay best friends, even until the end of

the end. Their relationship changes from a teacher/student friendship to a friendship of

equality. But you wonder, if Pip and Herbert didn t have that extra spark to ignite their

friendship, would they of turned out as close as they had?

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