Virtues and Vices
Would you sacrifice your identity just to fit into a certain crowd? Higher social class increases unethical behavior. Social class confuses Pip into believing his vices are really his virtues. In a study by Paul K. Piff, Daniel M. Stancato, Stéphane Côté, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, and Dacher Keltner, they found that people of higher social class were more likely to cheat, steal, and break the law. Why does Pip feel the need to be a gentleman, or in a higher social class? Pip grew up in a low social class in England around the Mid-nineteenth century. Joe, Pip’s father figure and brother in law, taught him the importance of kindness and generosity. You can recognize this in Pip’s fundamental inclination to help. Pip gets invited to Miss Havisham’s home; also know as the Satis House. Miss Havisham, Estella’s adoptive mother, plays Pip in one of her sick, twisted games by harassing Pip into seeing how beautiful Estella is. The only reason Estella does what Miss Havisham wants of her is because she is bribing her with family money and gems. Miss Havisham manipulated Pip by making him fall in love with Estella just so Estella can, metaphorically, rip his heart out. Miss Havisham was left on her wedding day by her fiancé; therefore she has made it her life’s mission to destroy any man in her she can get away with. Because of Miss Havisham’s influence, Estella gives Pip the impression that she will only like him if he would be a gentleman. To become a gentleman Pip mixed vices and virtues by believing that education, dress, and manners was the most important thing over love, appreciation and hope. No matter what Joe taught Pip, the new beginning that could behold him captivated him. Joe was not enough to hold Pip’s virtues, but if Pip had more people who cared for him when he was younger, he would have never succumbed to Estella.