Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Great Expectations, Discussion Question #2

Why do you think it is one of Pip's benefactor's principal conditions that he "always bear the name of Pip" in order to receive his financial support?

SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!

7 comments:

kristen said...

I enjoyed the consistent tie to the name Pip throughout. I mean, Dickens chooses to open the book with the explanation. I also remember vividly the scene in the coach when Herbert doesn't call him Pip and "Handel" is relieved. These two moments are front and center when I contemplate this question....

I think that Pip's very specific name made it easy for his benefactor to keep track of him. But more than simple pragmatics, I think his benefactor wished Pip to keep strong ties to his village and marshes--which were key to their connection. Of course, when Pip betrays his connection to Joe he betrays the spirit of his name (so it is no surprise he is going by another by this point).

The contrast between Pip and Handel is stark. I liked Pip better (although not much!) when he was Pip and not Handel.

Heather said...

Well, Kristen pretty much said what I was thinking! LOL

Andrea said...

The practical explanation is that it was a way for his benefactor to keep track of him so he could meet up with him later in life. However, Mr. Jaggers was always a connection so Pip wouldn't necessarily have to keep his name.

It's interesting that Pip's benefactor goes by 2 different names. Maybe he realized how important it is to not have to hide behind another name and wanted to save Pip from that type of deceit. I also like Kristen's explanation that it kept the connection to the marshes that they both shared.

Nyssaneala said...

I think the benefactor did not want Pip to lose sight of his origins. Although I might be wrong, I don't think "Pip" is a very gentlemanly name of that time, and keeping that name would be a constant reminder of where he came from (in a good way).

I agree with Kristen with the connection to Pip's actions and the development of his nickname, Handel.

Wendy said...

I agree with Kristen - it is a tie to his childhood and his "roots" which I think his benefactor recognizes as important to maintain. As we know, Pip betrays those roots and ultimately loses it all (in sense).

Michaelann said...

I also agree with Kristen that keeping Pip's name will help in tracking him down and also in keeping his connections to where they met.

Kim L said...

Maybe his benefactor just thought it sounded cool! I don't think there's too deep an explanation, he probably just wanted to remember Pip as he was when they first met.