I read the book Great Expectations for my English class at Oak Park High School. It wasn’t fun at all, in fact it was very frustrating, but I did learn from it. It was about a boy named Pip trying to find himself. He went through different times in life wanting to do things that didn’t really seemed like himself. It felt like he was doing them for someone else rather than doing it for his own benefits. Eventually he figures out who he truly is and accepts that, and ends up being happier than he was before.
In chapters 8-10, Pip meets Mrs. Havisham and her daughter Estella and he immediately develops a crush for her. Pip is told that Mrs. Havisham plans on raising him to be a wealthy man and high in the social class so he can be with Estella. These rumors along with his crush on Estella cause Pip to try his absolute hardest to be that man that Estella wants. He then starts to put this act on and tries to be someone who he really easy. That brings me to my topic. My topic is people trying to fit in and trying to find themselves in life.
In today’s society, people often have a problem with being themselves. People are often persuaded by their friends, family, celebrities, or others to do certain things and to act certain ways. Sometimes they say you should do things that go against being yourself. This is not how things are supposed to be. There is a misconception that you have to act, think, and be a certain way in order to be successful in life; I call it the system. There are always going to be people that follow the system step by step. But, every once in a while you’ll run into someone who goes against the grain and does their own thing. That is how people should be every day. You should be who you want to be whenever you want and not let anyone tell you anything else.
I can connect with Pip because I know what it feels like to be around people that you consider “cool” and doing things you wouldn’t normally do just so they accept you and so you feel wanted and like you fit in. It isn’t a good feeling at all because you feel like you have to constantly watch what you do or say because as soon as you do something wrong you’ll be judge. That feeling isn’t good at all, but I know a lot of people that have felt the same way. It also isn’t good watching people do it. I have watch some of my friends do the same thing as well and that isn’t good either. Being in high school, allows me to see this all the time.
That is why my audience is high school students who struggle to fit in. First of all, if you are in high school and you don’t necessarily “fit in” anywhere that is fine. That’s only because your looking where you want to fit in, rather than looking for where you actually fit in. People often try to fit in with who they want to be instead of embracing who they already are being friends with people who they have a lot in common in. If you just be yourself then people will notice that and come to you. Friends also come and go, so if one friendship doesn’t work out, don’t worry because there will be a ton of more friends to come.
My purpose is to help people understand that being someone or something they aren’t isn’t going to end well for them. At the end of the day, you’re putting up an act for people who may or may not like you. What if they figure out you’re not being yourself because you make it too obvious? Then you’ll only be left with the option of being yourself. If you just be yourself, you won’t have problems. If one person or a group of people don’t like you, go find someone who does! It isn’t that hard. Just be patient and everything will fall into place.
In the end, when Pip is putting up this act with all this money and stuff, it doesn’t make Estella like him anymore than she did when he first approached her. Nothing changed. But at the end of the book when he finally figured out who he really was and what he was best off doing, she liked him and they ended up being together. This shows you that being yourself is always the best route, and if you aren’t yourself you can sometimes drive people further away from you. Great Expectations wasn’t the best book in the world to read, but this is what I got from it. It taught me that being yourself is always the way to go and hopefully you learned from it too.