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One of the most interesting and mysterious things that people question is infatuation and its relationship to love. Infatuation, which is really nothing but a big crush or obsession, is often termed as "false love." When a person has feelings of infatuation, he usually thinks he is in love. In all reality, he is only experiencing an excitement on seeing what it is like to have feelings for another, even if those feelings are only based on physical attraction. This passion not only refers to love, but also the other materialistic things that dazzle people?s minds. The feelings people have experienced in the past are compared with the present feelings they have and make it easier to determine if their present feelings are love or "false love." As Pip shows in Charles Dickens? Great Expectations, a person can be passionate with anything and then later on fall in love with it. Infatuation is an experience that one can learn from and a desire that one wishes to acquire.
In a village cemetery, a small boy, Pip, is approached by a runaway convict who
demands food and a file to saw off his leg iron. Terrified, Pip steals the requested items from the home where he has been living with his sister and her husband Joe since his parents died. Later on, Pip falls in love with Estella and becomes self-conscious about his low social status and raw manners. Estella is the girl that Pip is in love with and bases his standards around her. From then on, his loyal dream is to become a gentleman in order to be with Estella in the future. Pip encounters many situations and struggles to attain his goals in life.
Infatuation can lead to an emotion of true passion instead of having the false obsession. Pip lusted for Estella for most of the book, but towards the end, he indicated his love for her when he expressed his concern over her marrying Drummle. "Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself."(347) Pip expresses his honest feelings for her as Pip and Estella argue about Estella?s engagement with Drummle. This act shows love because although Pip realized he could not marry Estella, he wanted someone to marry her who would treat her like a queen. If he had still been simply infatuated, he would have been against Estella marrying Drummle, but only out of jealousy. Pip exhibits his understanding of true happiness through the pain he displays when Magwitch, his benefactor, dies. Magwitch first alienated him, Pip grows closer to him, especially after Magwitch is arrested. During his visits to the prison, Pip displays that he cared tremendously for Magwitch, an attitude that developed since his first encounter with the convict. Following his death, Pip "lay on the sofa, or on the floor - anywhere, according as I happened to sink down - with a heavy head and aching limbs, and no purpose, and no power." (470) Herbert is one who stands by Pip throughout his struggles. Even though they are totally the opposite of one another, Herbert is the gentleman that Pip wants to become. Herbert will stick with Pip in spite of his faults, and will risk real danger for him.
One?s desire provides experience for him that enable him to grow and learn about what kind of qualities he cherishes. Infatuation not only deals with love, but also with changes that many want to accomplish. It could teach a moral lesson about the true significance of a change rather than the superficial view of it. The change in Pip's moral character takes time, but nonetheless, it is not an impossible task to accomplish. Just as Pip has shown, the moral development of a person into someone who he desires to be is accomplished by the end of the book. Pip's desire for self-satisfaction leaves him with a broken heart, no money, and distance from his dearest friends, Joe and Biddy. This stage in Pip's life was brought about essentially through his obsession with Estella and by his new fortune which Magwitch secretly granted upon him. Even though Pip had almost everything he could desire materially, he was not truly happy as one can see "...Fortune alone has raised me; that is being very lucky. And yet when I think of Estella-... I cannot tell
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