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“Great Expectations”, “To Kill a Mocking Bird”, and “Romeo and Juliet” are all very diverse pieces of literature. Each piece of literature is unique to one another, but they all share common characteristics and themes. All of the works include a key character that gains understanding of himself resulting from events in his life that caused confusions or prejudice.
Pip, the main character of Great Expectations, learns a great amount resulting from confusion in his life. His confusion is caused by his love for Estella, a beautiful and proper girl of the upper-class. Pip becomes intrigued by Estella the moment Ms. Havisham, Estella’s guardian, has him over to visit. Ms. Havisham encourages and strengthens Pip’s feeling for Estella by always reminding him of Estella’s beauty and intelligence. As Pip grows older, his love for Estella never fades. Pip becomes confused when Estella makes him think that he may have a chance with her when in reality she doesn’t love him at all. Estella is incapable of loving because Ms. Havisham taught her to hide her affection and love and to never open up to a man. Once Pip realizes that he will never marry Estella he learns never to set his mind on one thing and that he must keep an open mind.
Jem, the main character of To Kill a Mocking Bird, learns a lot from the prejudice he must experience in his life resulting from a trial his dad is involved in. Jem’s dad is defending a black man who was accused of raping a young girl in town. This is especially hard for Jem because he is growing up in a very racist southern town and time. Even though the majority of the people in the town know the black man is innocent, his color causes them to discriminate against him and accuse him as being guilty. The things Jem must experience as a result of the trial, such as getting beat up by a grown man, teach him many things about his life. He learns to give every person a chance no matter what their race, gender, or any other classifying features are. Most importantly, Jem learns to never cower down from what he believes in and to never give up.
Juliet, the main character of the play Romeo and Juliet, also learns a lot from the confusion in her life. Romeo and Juliet fall in love at first sight. Unfortunately Romeo and Juliet must express their love in secret because their families are arch enemies. Juliet becomes confused a number of times throughout the play because she is put in the position of choosing between her lover and her family. For example, when Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin, she doesn’t know who to side with. Juliet decides to go against her family and quickly forgive Romeo. She figures love is the most important thing. Juliet learns that to be happy you must follow your heart. Even though the play ends in tragedy, the only thing that would make Juliet happy was to be with Romeo, even if it was in the afterlife.
As one can see Pip, Jem, and Juliet all learned important lessons from their experiences. The confusion in Pip and Juliet’s lives and the prejudice in Jem’s cause them all to come to conclusions about themselves and their lives. Overall, the lessons each character learned helped them to become a better person who was more aware of himself.