How does Pip change towards Joe in "Great Expectations"?I need help on these plz. Can u please point evidence and explanation. thank you

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the novel, Pip and Joe are the best of friends.  It is almost as though they are allied with one another against the world...including Mrs. Joe, since she is cruel, controlling and violent to both of them.  Joe is Pip's salvation and the one reason he is able to remain sane and happy.  Pip is to be apprenticed to Joe and become a blacksmith like his Uncle/brother (Mrs. Joe being Pip's sister and married to Joe).  When the convict comes along, Pip feels bitter resentment and guilt for stealing from Joe and lying to cover his tracks since the convict threatens Pip with his life.  In a word, Pip loves and cares about Joe, and works very hard to preserve the relationship.

However, after the convict has been there and Pip suddenly comes into his own, Pip becomes too good for those around him.  His education and clothing put him above Joe and Biddy and the others.  At this point in the novel, Joe becomes an embarrassment to Pip due to Joe's lack of manners, education, and polish.  Joe works hard to learn to read to impress Pip, but Pip is only ashamed of the man. 

It is not until later in the novel that Pip again realizes what is important in life when Pip sees Joe for what he is:  a hard-working, loving man who always loves Pip no matter how horrible Pip treats him or looks down upon him.  Joe is the constant star in the novel, and Pip is the one whose attitudes flap with whichever wind is blowing.

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Great Expectations

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