Describe the Relationship Between Pip and Joe in Part One of the Novel Great Expectations

Describe the Relationship Between Pip and Joe in Part One of the Novel Great Expectations

Describe the relationship between Pip and Joe in Part One of he novel Great Expectations Joe is “married by hand” to Mrs Gargery, of whom Pip is also “brought up by hand”. The two characters in the book Great Expectations envelop in a long, changing journey of their relationship throughout the progression of the book, as it becomes affected by many external factors which are beyond the control of the beholders. In chapter two the close bond between Joe and Pip can be observed. Firstly, despite the age gap between Pip and Joe, both are at the receiving end of Mrs Gargery’s physical abuse.

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Pip remarks ironically and good humouredly that both of them were “fellow sufferers”. This quotation illustrates that Pip and Joe have a special, secret union, a unique bond in which they unite together in order to free themselves from the cruel Mrs Gargery. Another example of where this is portrayed is the bread eating competition; “to enter upon our friendly competition”. As the meals are ate in silence (Mrs Joe’s commands), Pip and Joe attempt to communicate and comfort each other through the manner in which the bread is ate. This shows that Joe and Pip have a strong relationship in chapter 2 and that they enjoy each others company.

In chapter six, Pip says “But I loved Joe… because the dear fellow let me love him”. This shows that in Pip’s early childhood, Joe is seen as an equal. This is most likely because both Joe and Pip venture through the pain inflicted by Mrs Joe, and Joe is the only character in the book that shows love and affection for Pip. This can be observed in chapter seven, when Pip reveals “I had a new sensation of feeling conscious that I was looking up to Joe in my heart. ” These quotations suggest that maybe Pip looks up to Joe and that Joe is Pip’s comrade and confidant.

The quote “ever the best of friends”, shows that Joe thinks of Pip as his equal too, unlike the other characters in the book who think of Pip as inferior to them, “he was a world of trouble to you” (Mrs Hubble tells Mrs Joe; chapter four). Later on in Great Expectations, however, (chapter 9) Pip’s views about Joe begins to change. Pip begins to endorse in the thought that it is Joe’s fault that he is of the working class and blames Joe of his ignorant upbringing, “I wish you hadn’t taught me to call knaves at cards. ” This shows that Pip is ashamed of his background and of Joe also.

The quotation “I know I was ashamed of Joe”, (chapter 13) tells the audience that Pip is embarrassed of Joe as well as it brings across the point of Joe and Pip are no longer equals in Pip’s eyes. It also suggests that Pip does not want to be seen with Joe, as Pip feels that he is superior to Joe. Earlier on in the book Pip always referred to Joe as “Pip and I”, however Pip now only talks of “Joe” to point out the qualities which shows his working class ways, “a mere blacksmith”. This notifies the audience that Pip’s opinion of Joe is no longer of a hero but that of lower hierarchy, a less important person.

Also on Pip’s first day on his apprenticeship with Joe he states “I was quite dejected on the first-working-day of my apprenticeship”,(chapter 14), this shows that Pip is no longer content with his life, as he feels “coarse and common” and that working with Joe is no longer a happy means of living his life. It also tells us that Joe and Pip are no longer involves in their “secret union”, as they used to entertain each other whilst being abused by Mrs Gargery, but Mrs Gargery is not at hand whilst Pip and Joe work at the forge and therefore it would be presumed that Joe and Pip are much happier.

However this is not the case and Pip is indulged in how terrible it is to work as an apprentice to a blacksmith. Pip also says in chapter 15 “I wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common, that he might be worthier of my society”. This supports the theory that Pip feels he is worthier, more important than Joe. This shows that the relationship between Joe and Pip is no longer as strong as it used to be because Pip only sees the “lower status” qualities of Joe.

It also shows that Pip is changing as a character and therefore the strong relationship him and Joe once had is withering away. From the above points it can clearly be seen that the change in Pip’s character is a drastic change in the strong relationship, Pip and Joe once had. It is known that the changes commence when Pip is invited to Miss Havisham’s house, where he learns of the life of the upper class and is hypnotized and strongly influenced by the beauty and malicious words of the sadist Estella.

From this point Pip is obsessed with acquiring wealth and attaining Estella as well as eradicating himself from his poor family. It is in chapter 18 where Pip realises he has come into his fortune. With his new found wealth he decides to shun away Joe, this poor man and continue with his prosperous life. I also believe that his interest in impressing Miss Havisham and Estella leads to The despicable thoughts Pip as of Joe. These unfavourable qualities of Pip lead to Pip thinking of unappreciative, ungrateful, shameful opinions of Joe, thus destroying their once blooming relationship.


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