In Great Expectations, what do you learn about Joe's personality and his feelings for Pip from his meeting with Miss Havisham?

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writergal06's profile pic

writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Joe is extremely dedicated to Pip, and gets very defensive when people question his motives. He truly loves Pip for Pip, not for what he might be able to do for Joe. We see that he is simple and uneducated, yet loyal and devoted. He sees the best in people, and is sincere in all that he says and does. We also see that Joe has no ambition in and of himself. He wants the best for Pip, but Joe is completely comfortable where he is. He doesn't desire more wealth or status.

jameadows's profile pic

jameadows | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In Chapter 13, Joe meets with Miss Havisham, and he does not regard her with deference, in spite of her wealth and position. Instead, Joe is very uncomfortable, and he only addresses Pip, not Miss Havisham. When she questions Joe about Pip's future, Joe says that the choice of whether or not Pip should become his apprentice to him is entirely up to Pip. Joe tells Miss Havisham that he does not expect a premium, but Miss Havisham gives Pip and Joe twenty-five guineas, which represents a very tidy sum to them. Joe leaves surprised, as he had not expected anything. From this discussion, it is clear that Joe really has Pip's best interests at heart. While Pip is embarrassed about Joe's uncouth manners in front of Miss Havisham and Estella, it's clear that Joe really cares about Pip and would never force him into an apprenticeship that Pip did not like. In addition, Joe does not expect money for Pip, as Joe really loves him, and Joe is not a greedy person. 


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