Pip Pirrip is the protagonist and narrator in the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Being raised by his sister and brother-in-law in Kent, England, Pip is an innocent, compassionate but lonely young boy. As Pip gets older and is introduced to new people (upper class), he second-guesses his life and what he wants. Believing that anything less than upper class is beneath him, he sets his sights on a new and "improved" way of life. During the process, he becomes snobbish and proud. As Pip falls deeper into debt and confusion about his own life, everything around him begins to fall and collapse. Once Pip hits rock bottom, the man who was the true gentleman in the first place once again brings him back onto his feet. .
Lonely because of isolation from the everyday outside world and "normal family-ties" (Coles Notes 101), Pip often visits his parents in the churchyard and explores the marshes. Upon one of these visits he runs into a convict who aggressively demands " a file" and " wittles" to which he threatens, " I"ll have your heart and your liver out." (Dickens 30) Pip desperately believes him and runs home to fulfill this "duty" which clearly portrays Pip's trait of his youthful innocence because of him believing the convict's farfetched threat. Pip's compassion is also displayed when he helps the convict in chapter three. Pip also appears to have a lack of confidence and fearfulness:.
I ought to tell Joe the whole truth. Yet I did not, and for the reason that I mistrusted that if I did, he would think me worse than I was. The fear of losing Joe's confidence, and of thenceforth sitting in the chimney corner at night staring dreamily at my for ever lost companion and friend, tied up my tongue. (37).
Pip's innocence also plays into his guilty character trait when he steals from his sister and brother-in-law for the convict: "My state of mind, as I have described it, began before I was up in the morning, and lasted long after the subject had died out, and had ceased to be mentioned saving on exceptional occasions.