Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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How do Pip and Joe's relationship change from the start of the novel to the end in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens?

In Great Expectations, Pip and Joe's relationship changes as Pip matures. Pip loves and relies on Joe to help protect him against his unkind sister. When Pip has come into his great expectations, however, he is ashamed of Joe for his low status and rough manners. Later, Pip is ashamed of himself for misjudging Joe. More mature and humbled by life, Pip learns to value, love, and respect Joe for the good man that he is.

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Part of the arc of Pip's journey to maturity is his coming to a full appreciation of Joe's goodness.

As a child, Pip relies on Joe for companionship and to protect him from his abusive older sister, Joe's wife. The two band together against this foul-tempered woman. Pip loves Joe for his gentle kindness and plans to follow in his footsteps as a humble blacksmith.

When Pip's circumstances change and he becomes a young man of fortune, financed by a secret benefactor he thinks is Miss Havisham, he turns into a snob. He is ashamed of Joe's rough clothes and language and his position as a village blacksmith. Sometimes he avoids visiting Joe and his new wife, Biddy, when he comes home, embarrassed by the association.

However, when Pip learns that his benefactor is not Miss Havisham, who, though very strange, is fully a lady, he is mortified at how he has treated Joe. He has put on airs and felt superior to Joe, but now Pip realizes he has been financed by a convict, which makes him feel as we...

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