Why does Mrs Joe's death not bring Pip and Joe any closer together?This question takes place in chapter 35

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pip’s sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery was married to Joe the blacksmith. The couple was responsible for raising Pip as he was orphaned at a very young age. In the opening chapters of the story, Mrs. Joe is portrayed as a violent woman, physically assaulting her husband and brother. On the other hand, Joe treated Pip fairly. He protected Pip from his sister’s assaults on several occasions and Pip loved and respected Joe for his care and protection.

Pip was to be apprenticed to Joe, but he got an opportunity to work for Miss Havisham. The lady facilitated Pip's training to become a gentleman. However, the opportunity to become a gentleman changed Pip’s idea of Joe and his past. He loathed his past and Joe as a part of it. Mrs. Joe’s death did nothing to reconcile Pip and his past because he was not ready.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While the funeral takes place in Chapter 35, I would say that the answer to your question is pretty much from the book as a whole, not from any one passage in that chapter.

The reason that his sister's death doesn't bring Pip closer to Joe is that Pip is not really good enough of a person yet.  When he became a gentleman, Pip started trying to forget where he came from.  He feels that Joe is a reminder of his past and that past is something he is trying to forget.

At this point in his life, he has not grown up enough to realize that Joe is a good person even if he is poor.  So he keeps snubbing Joe even after Mrs. Joe dies.

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Great Expectations

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