In Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, the author begins the tale by revealing Pip’s arrogance towards previous companions. By the end of the story, we learn of Pip’s love and compassion for everyone.
In Great Expectations, during the middle of the book, Pip creates a rather low opinion of himself acting arrogant and conceited to others. For example, When Joe is coming to visit Pip, Pip thinks to himself, “I was looking forward to Joe’s coming not with pleasure, thought that I was bound to him… If I could have kept him away by paying money, I would have paid money (pg.841). Evan though Joe protected and assisted Pip throughout his juvenile years, Pip was still embarrassed by him. Pip is an ungrateful person showing Joe no gratitude. In addition, when Pip learned who his benefactor was he replied, “The abhorrence in which I held the man, the dread I had of him, the repugnance with which I shrank from him, could not have been exceeded if he had been some terrible beast (pg.876). Pip is surprised by this intrusion of his mind realizing that Miss Havisham did not raise him to be with Estella. Evan though Pip was not raised to be with Estella he is an vicious human being thinking such vile thoughts against a man that gave him the life of a gentleman. In relation, as Provis lays down to sleep Pip reflects on meeting him, “Then came the reflection that I had seen him with my childish eyes to be a desperate violent man:” (pg.879). Pip can only think of what horrible things Provis performed. Pip is an unforgiving person, still thinking of Provis as a convict after all he did for him. Pip displays himself as a heartless feign, believing himself to be of upper society and forgetting people who helped him through his journey of life.
In the end of the novel, Great Expectations, Pip redefines himself as a dependable honorable character. For example, when Pip is hovering over Provis’ deathbed he says, “Dear Magwitch, I must tell you, now at last, You had a child once whom you loved and lost, she lived and found powerful friends.
Cyrano De Bergerac
Cyrano De Bergerac
Ever since birth, Cyrano De Bergerac has had an enormous, revolting nose. He has become more and more self conscious about it as time has progressed, and now as a grown man it has created a serious lack of self esteem. He is confident when he is in a situation in which he is able to defend himself physically against male attackers of both the physical and verbal nature, but when around women he becomes incredibly bashful and is wholly unable to communicate.
Cyrano has unknowingly created a sort of psychological trap in which women are kept on the outside and men are free to roam within. Lacking confidence around women, he is forced to pour his heart out on to letters and is deprived of any kind of physical contact with the opposite gender. Without confidence, a man’s attempts at any kind of a relationship with a woman are almost always thwarted because in order for a woman to be attracted to a man, she must first see confidence in him. Since Cyrano has no confidence in his ability with women, he is stuck in a never-ending cycle of rejection and loneliness.
He is completely confident, almost arrogant, in his fighting and literary abilities, as demonstrated by his defeat and humiliation of Valvert in Act I. In a captivating display of intelligence and physical ability, he defeats Valvert in a swordfight while he composes a poem poking fun at him. Evidently Cyrano has the potential to be a great man, even a hero. The problem originates within his inability to act normally around a woman he is attracted to, much like the majority of modern adolescent boys. This lack of confidence in one area of his life quickly spreads and begins to affect his everyday life, as shown in Act IV when his desperation for a female partner leads him to risk his life on a daily basis by delivering love letters across enemy lines on foot.
Given that Roxane only really knows her “lover” through his letters, she builds an image of him in her mind that corresponds with the level of passion incorporated in to the letters. The image she has envisioned is of a young, healthy, good-looking, strong man whom she finds in Christian.