Abstract：Charles Dickens was one of the most outstanding English realistic novelists in 19 century. His works reflected the social reality of Victoria era and his novels were permeated with the spirit of humanitarianism. For example, his work Great Expectations canonizes the good and punishes the evil. Throughout the novel Great Expectations, the main character Pip’s character and personality goes through some transformations. This paper discusses Pip’s character development from three representative stages. In his childhood, Pip is kind and innocent. He is unaware of his social class. Pip is content with what he has and who he knows. Joe is a good model example for Pip. Pip can keep his good nature, though Miss Gargery and Pumble chook have bad influence on him. Magwitch’s appearance makes Pip a sensitive boy. Pip often feels guilty. In addition, the limited education also has an undesirable influence on the formation of Pip’s character. Before he heads for London, he meets new people from different classes, including Miss Harvisham and Estella, his sense of worth changes at this time. He starts to feel ashamed of his family, and long for another kind of life, the gentleman’s life. In Pip’s youth, Mr. Jaggers tells Pip the fact that someone wants to make Pip a gentleman, Pip becomes ungrateful to his old friends. In London, Pip leads a luxurious life. Pip becomes a vain person. He is snobbish and false. He does not live happily. However, Pip has some new friends in London, such as Herbert and Wemmick. In this period, Pip keeps a percentage of his original good nature. Pip’s character in this stage is rather complicated. Magwitch’s coming back indicates the disillusion of Pip’s great expectations. Pip’s conscience wakes in this period. He becomes a noble-minded person, which means the maturity of Pip’s character.
Although many people have made detailed analysis on Pip’s character development from different perspectives, few of them make the analysis from the perspective of Freud’s theory of personality structure. However, we can find the embodiment of the structural model in Pip’s character development. So this paper will make a different interpretation on Pip’s character development according to the theory. According to Freud’s structural model, a complete personality structure includes: Id, ego and super-ego. In the process of an individual’s development, Id, ego and super-ego do not appear at the same time, but demonstrate the relationship of derivation from each other. That is, ego is derived from Id, and super-ego is derived from ego. In a word, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the three periods of Pip’s character development according to Freud’s structural model in order to reveal the moral theme that Dickens would like to show. This paper also gives enlightenment to the undergraduates who are forming their values.
Key words：Pip, character development, structural model