What is Dicken's definition of true love in Great Expectations?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dickens best defines true love with the characters Joe and Biddy.  Throughout the novel, the reader sees the kindness and love in Joe for Pip.  He is selfless because he allows his abusive wife to come after him rather than Pip, and he also allows Pip to venture off in search of his great "expectations" when he'd rather keep the company of Pip at the forge. 

Biddy is also selfless.  She teaches Pip and is very patient with him while he learns.  And when Mrs. Joe is injured, she then moves in to help Joe take care of things around not only the house, but with Mrs. Joe.  Both Biddy and Joe care more for others than they do themselves.  This is perhaps the reason why Dickens used these two characters to fall in love and marry one another.  They deserve each other, and both of them have more to offer than any other character in the novel, despite their economic standing.  Their actual value is worth more than the financial worth of all of the characters combined.

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Great Expectations

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