The first lesson Pip learned is that you should put people first, and that being with people you love is what life is really about. Pip spends most of his time in the novel wishing he were someone he wasn’t, and wishing he could be with someone who didn’t love...
The first lesson Pip learned is that you should put people first, and that being with people you love is what life is really about. Pip spends most of his time in the novel wishing he were someone he wasn’t, and wishing he could be with someone who didn’t love him back. He fails to grasp the simple beauty of requited love.
When Pip decides he will ask Biddy to marry him, it is because she is his back-up. He feels like he has made a lot of mistakes chasing after Estella and trying to be a gentleman. He comes to the understanding that he wants to be with someone gentle and caring who will be supportive of him. He knows very few people like that, and Biddy is one of the only women in the category. When he gets home to ask her, he finds Joe already has.
The second lesson is that you should not wait for something better to come along. When you recognize something good, you should snatch it up. Pip didn’t really recognize the role Biddy played in his life until he had been through quite a bit, but she was always a stable influence for him. She was there for him when he needed it the most, comforting and teaching him. Biddy had a no-nonsense personality. She always told Pip exactly what she thought of him, even if he didn't want to hear it.
“Biddy,” said I, after binding her to secrecy, “I want to be a gentleman.”
“Oh, I wouldn't, if I was you!” she returned. “I don't think it would answer.”
“Biddy,” said I, with some severity, “I have particular reasons for wanting to be a gentleman.”
“You know best, Pip; but don't you think you are happier as you are?” (Ch. 18)
Joe and Biddy are simple people, and content to be so. This is the lesson they can teach Pip in their marriage. By this point in his life, he is ready to learn it. He had to come into money, chase Estella, lose Estella, and lose the money in order to realize that it is the people in your life that matter.