Illustration of Pip visiting a graveyard

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

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Does Pip visit Joe, Biddy, and his sister while in town in Great Expectations? Why or why not?

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In chapter 35 of Great Expectations, Pip returns home for his sister's funeral. After the ceremony, he has an awkward exchange with Biddy when he tells her that he will come back to the forge often to take care of Joe now that his sister's passed away. Biddy's silence tells him that she doesn't believe a word of this. And with good reason, too, because Pip's a changed man.

Since moving to London he's become a crashing snob. He's no longer the humble apprentice blacksmith living in a cramped cottage on the bleak Romney Marshes; he's a young gentleman of substance. Pip's feelings of superiority are heightened further by the embarrassing, unwelcome visit of Joe to London, during which time he acts like a country bumpkin, thus reminding Pip of his lower class origins.

Pip is overcome with remorse at his high-handed treatment of Joe, and he resolves to come pay him a visit. But crucially, he makes all kinds of excuses as to why he can't stay at the forge, and must lodge at "The Blue Boar" instead. Pip may feel guilty about his snobbishness, but that doesn't stop him from continuing to be a snob.

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