Pip and Heathcliff: Men Who Will Do Anything for the Woman They Love

In chapter 22 of Great Expectations, Pip asks Herbert teach him how to be a proper gentlemen. Pip is desperate to impress Estella, even though the two had always played together and enjoy each other’s company, Estella has always looked down on Pip.  This reminded me of Heathcliff and Catherine’s story in Wuthering Heights. When Catherine and Heathcliff were young, they would often play together and loved being together but ultimately when faced with the decision to marry Heathcliff or Edgar Linton, Catherine chooses Edgar. She feels as though by marrying Edgar he will be able to help her more, both financially and socially. This is what ultimately pushes Heathcliff to leave home and become the gentleman that Catherine is looking for to show her he can change. In Pip’s case, he is aware of his low social status and hopes that by educating himself on becoming a proper gentleman, he will be able to make Estella love him. Both Heathcliff and Pip want to change who they are for love but that’s not always a good thing. People should love you for who you are, and if they can’t then that doesn’t mean you should change to fit someone’s ‘ideal’ image. Personally, I think Heathcliff and Pip are very similar in the fact that they are really struggling with who they are and who they want to be. For both these men, it’s easy to change themselves into a different person for a woman. 

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