Who is Orlick?  Why is he upset at Pip's half-holiday? Why does Mrs. Joe become upset?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Orlick is Joe's journeyman. He works for Joe at the forge. While working there, he feels that he should get the same privileges as Pip. Pip wants to take a half day off to run to Miss Havisham's to thank her for her generosity.  Orlick feels that's unfair, and voices his opinion at once.  He says that Joe is favoring Pip over himself.  Because of this confrontation, Joe allows Orlick to leave as well, so it's fair. 

Mrs. Joe overhears this and begins yelling at both Joe and Orlick. She doesn't want anyone getting anything for free.  When Orlick starts calling Mrs. Joe names, like "a foul shrew," Mrs. Joe demands that Joe stick up for her.  Joe was just telling Orlick to watch what he says.  She wants Joe to show Orlick physically who is truly the boss.  So Joe fights Orlick and takes him down with one big punch.  This satisfies Mrs. Joe and only angers Orlick more towards Mrs. Joe.

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Orlick works for Joe Gargery at the forge. He is upset at Pip because he believes Pip is getting preferential treatment from Joe even though Orlick has worked at the forge longer than Pip. When Pip asks for a half-holiday and receives it, Orlick figures he deserves the same thing. Joe agrees to give Orlick a half-holiday, too. Mrs. Joe overhears the conversation between Orlick and Joe and begins to shout at Joe. Orlick then calls her "a foul shrew" and this causes Mrs. Joe to go on a "rampage". Finally Joe stands up to Orlick and knocks him to the ground. Joe fires Orlick but later Orlick takes revenge on both Mrs. Joe and Pip.

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Great Expectations

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