Pip desperately wants to be part of the cool crowd, but he doesn't have the right shoes, the right slang, or the right parents. Admit it: we've all been there. (Well, okay, maybe a few of you haven't, but you were probably the ones teasing Shmoop for reading too much in middle school, so the less said about that the better.) In Great Expectations, being a "gentleman" is basically equivalent to being part of the popular crowd. Just like a Mean Girls social climber, Pip learns that being well-liked is more about how you act than how you look. And no matter what you do, you won't be good enough for the head cheerleader—unless you get your author to rewrite your ending.
Identity has more to do with choice than birth in Dickens's Great Expectations.
Pip fails as a fortunate orphan but succeeds as a self-made man.