In Chapter 11, why does Mrs. Joe become angry when Pip informs Joe about Miss Havisham wanting the indentures?Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For the enotes text, it is Chapter XII (12) of Great Expectations that contains the answer to the question of how Mrs. Joe reacts when Pip tells Joe that Miss Havisham has requested that Joe come to Satis House with Pip indentures, 

She asked me and Joe whether we supposed she was door-mats under our feet, and how we dared to use her so, and what company we graciously thought she was fit for?

Clearly, Mrs. Joe is offended that she has not been included in the invitation as she feels her lower class has excluded her from visiting Satis House.  Further, in Chapter XIII, Mrs. Joe informs Joe and Pip that she will accompany them to town where she will stay at Uncle Pumblechook's store where Joe and Pip can call for her

“when we had done with our fine ladies”—a way of putting the case, from which Joe appeared inclined to augur the worst.

While Joe, too, is class conscious and is extremely awkward in the presence of the eccentric Miss Havisham, he is clever in his approach to speaking with Mrs. Joe upon his and Pip's return.  For, he tells his harridan wife that Miss Havisham's health has not permitted her to meet with ladies, but she sends her "compliments."   Then, when Mrs. Joe asks what was given to Pip, whom she disparages as "young Rantipole"--a young and unruly person--Joe replies that Pip has received nothing.  The twenty-five pounds that Miss Havisham has handed him is for her: Miss Havisham has said,

'I mean into the hands of his sister Mrs. J. Gargery.' Them were her words; ‘Mrs. J. Gargery.’

These fabricated words truly cheer Mrs. Joe who feels elevated socially, and she declares after Pip is officially indentured that they must celebrate by having dinner at the Blue Boar with Uncle Pumblechook, Mr. Wopsle, and the Hubbles.

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