Living through a young and difficult life, trying to achieve a fantasy world, while
following their heart towards youthful passion of their past, these actions portray the main
characters of The Great Gatsby and Great Expectations.
While young, both of the protagonists from each of the stories go through hardships
during their younger years. Pip, from Great Expectations, says that he was beaten while he was
growing up. “I often served as a connubial missile.” (Dickens, 12), this is saying that Pip’s
treatment around his home was very harsh. His sister threw him around the house, and
mistreated him in almost every way possible. Pip’s sister, even had an object to beat him with,
called “the tickler”. “The tickler was a wax-ended piece of a cane, worn smooth by collision
with my tickled frame.” (Dickens, 7) Being hit with this for punishment would make your life
while you were growing up very miserable.
Everyone in Pip’s family was dead, not including his sister, “…Philip Pirrip, late of this
parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander,
Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and
buried…” (Dickens, 2) It was difficult for him to find comfort, as his sister beat him with “the
tickler”, he only had his brother-in-law to turn to, “I always treated him as a larger species of
child, and as no more than my equal” (Dickens, 7).
Gatsby didn’t grow up to much better than Pip, he grew up quite poor as “His parents
were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people-his imagination had never really accepted them as
his parents at all” (Fitzgerald, 98).
After suffering through the horrific memories of hardships while young, both characters
try to attain greatness, through money, to rid themselves of the horrible memories of their past.
Pip doesn’t actually leave home and achieve his wealth, he achieves it and then leaves
home to try and become a gentleman. “And the...