Another very important lesson that the reader can learn from having read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is the lesson that Mr. Jaggers dictates to Pip on more than one occasion:
Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule.
Pip has been deceived by the stellar appearance of Estella and has fallen in love with what he has perceived to be a young woman of breeding and class. He further deludes himself into believing that Estella will love him. Likewise, he is impressed with Miss Havisham because of her wealth, and he deceptively believes that it is she who is his benefactor. And, because Estella has called him "common," Pip believes himself inferior to her just as he considers Joe to be inferior and common. Because Pip has judged by appearances, he accuses himself in Book the Second of being a self-swindler as he avoids Joe by staying at the Blue Boar upon his return to the marsh:
All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pretenses did I cheat myself.
Still another lesson the reader can attain from Dickens's classic is the meaning of real love and friendship. This lesson is best demonstrated in the character of Joe. From the beginning of the novel, Joe displays a golden heart, open for a poor, neglected orphan. He shelters Pip from the wrath of his sister, he instructs Pip in moral values, he praises the boy when he learns his school lessons, he never derogates Pip. Always he loves him generously, even when Pip is embarrassed to be in his company. For, then, Joe tells Pip that he will not visit him in London since he "belongs on the forge." When Pip avoids seeing Joe, the man yet loves him, coming to treat his burns from the fire that have consumed Miss Havisham's decaying dress. Joe comforts Pip with the tender words that he has always used, "Ever the best of friends, Pip, old chap. Ever the best of friends."
What better example of loving friendship is there than in the character of Joe Gargery?