There are several themes in the novel Great Expectations, many of which are shown through the character of Pip. In the beginning of the book, Pip was completely happy with his life and where it was going until he met Estella and Miss Havisham. Estella and Miss Havisham, however, destroy his ambitions by teaching him to be ashamed of his coarse and common life. Pip was content with his life until Estella and Miss Havisham ruined his dreams and left him searching for the things that he wish he had.
In the beginning of the book, Pip was happy with his place in life. Because Pip was poorly treated by all of his relatives except Joe, Joe was close to the only positive thing in Pip's life. Pip looked up to Joe and was looking forward to being his apprentice in the forge. In the beginning his attitude was different as well. Pip had everything he needed and didn't feel like he needed to prove himself to anyone. He was satisfied with his life in the forge and his friendship with Joe.
All of this, however, changes when Pip meets the beautiful Estella and Miss Havisham. Pip becomes infatuated with Estella and gives up all of the good things in his life; Joe, the forge, and his good demeanor, and instead chooses to live his life as a dreamer. The one thing Pip wanted more than anything was Estella. He looked past her horrible and unnecessary treatment of him and loved her. In doing this, he dismisses Joe, Biddy, and the forge, and tries to gain his desires and impress her by becoming a gentleman and getting money.
Pip eventually realized that his great expectations weren't as great as he had thought. They brought about his snobbery to Joe and Biddy, caused him to go into debt, and led him to dismiss the uneducated and embarrassing Joe when the source of his expectations was ironically of lower status than him. Pip should have been happy with the life he had, rather than become too obsessed with what he didn't have and spend his whole life chasing after wealth and security.