For this assignment I have been asked to discuss the relationship between Pip and Joe in Great Expectations. I hope to show the different stages of Pip and Joe’s relationship and to look at themes and techniques Dickens uses to highlight and change Pip and Joe’s relationship.
In the first part, the narrator and chief character Pip meets an escaped convict who terrifies him into stealing food and a file, to remove his leg iron. Pip takes food to the convict, but another convict makes sure both are recaptured. We learn much later that the convict was transported to Australia.
Later Pip is invited to the house of Miss Havisham. She was jilted on her wedding day, but still wears her wedding dress; she lives with her adopted daughter Estella, Pip continues to visit Mrs Havisham until he starts his apprentice with Joe at the age of 14.
At about 20 Pip comes into some fortune and is told he shall be taken to London to become a gentleman. He then meets Estella again and becomes friends however She marries a wealthy man called Bentley Drummle. Joe visits Pip in London, Pip is embarrassed and patronizes Joe, who promises he will not come to London again. One day Pip receives a visit from the convict he met years before, Abel Magwitch, who has prospered in sheep farming but has returned from Australia. He is the source of Pip’s Fortune
Pip tries to get Magwitch out of England. Compeyson betrays Magwitch to the authorities. He is caught boarding a steamer; Magwitch is sentenced to death but dies first. The authorities seize Magwitch’s fortune. Pip is arrested for debt and catches fever. Joe comes to London, pays off his debts and nurses him back to health. Pip thinks of marrying Biddy and going back to the forge Pip goes back to the house and meets Estella once again and the they then decide to be friends…
Joe and Pip Brothers in law, but in great expectations there is much more to the relationship than just this. To start off when Joe and Pip live together in the forge, it seems they are the best of friends and the up most respect for each other shown when Joe quotes “We are equals”. Maybe why Pip and Joe become so close is because of their history, they both have had bad childhoods; Joe’s father used to beet him and his mother, whilst Both Pips mother and Father have died and he is a orphan. Because of this I think they are able to relate to each other from their experiences.
However the relationship seems to change between the two after Pip is taken off to London to become a ‘Gentleman’.
Pip moves to London at the age of 20 where he Learns to become a Gentleman, He makes new friends has new standards and a new approach to life and maybe he forgets Joe, or mayby it is the money that has changed him . But for whatever reason the relationship between the two certainly changes. This is shown in chapter 27 when Joe goes to meet Pip in London. Pip is ashamed of Joe he says things like “I should have liked to have run away”. “Joes clumsy manner” Pip has gone from once looking up to Joe and respecting him to looking down upon him , And Joe now does not feel like he is good enough for Pip and I think he can see he is not welcome as he leaves very quickly and calls Pip “Sir” which is very different compared to when Pip lived at the forge
The relationship between the Pip and Joe changes once again towards the end on great expectations When Pip returns to the forge Pip shows respect to Joe and his friendship by not saying any thing to Joe about him having ambitions to marry Biddy. Also Joe is more than happy to see Pip highlighting his very forgiving angelic type of image.
Dickens Shows off the relationships very well within great expectations using many techniques and styles to influence the reader. To Start Dickens uses the third person to view Pip in a graveyard, making he reader see Pip as small and fragile.
He also uses particular devise to present the relationship between Pip and Joe. Things like the Dialog of the characters to show there feelings for example. Pip saying things like “Didn’t you ever go to school, Joe, when you were as little as me?” Dickens then repeats the last few words to highlight the fact Pip is Patronising Joe even when Joe is nothing but nice about Pips poor letter and has never , and never does within the text criticise Pip. This changes the reader’s view of Pip and the relationship itself.
Dickens also uses imagery and symbolism and even comedy to highlight moods and feelings within the text. A good example is when Joe goes to meet Pip in London. Joe is not used to the customs of gentleman or off London ad insists on keeping his hat and trying to balance it in the most difficult position. This clever technique is not only put in there to make us laugh at Joe but it also shows Pip embarrassment of Joe and shows how much Joe does not fit in again changing the relationship between the two and the views of the reader.
Dickens uses the relationship between Pip and Joe to show the main theme of Great Expectations (what is a gentleman) and the importance of loyalty and love over the importance of wealth. . He does this by showing how happy Pip is while he is friends with Joe and showing the bond they have when they are ‘equal’ for example Pip crying for Joe when he explains his past and with Joe saying things like “What larks we shall have”. Then Pip becomes rich (which has always been his ambition) he becomes unhappy as he looses his best friend in Joe and he looses the love of his life in Estella. This shows that money does not make you happy and shows a very good comparison between rich and poor. The theme carries on as Pip looses his money. As he goes on to meet Estella again and becomes friends once again.
Looking at Dickens Past I think helps understand his writing of great expectations. As some things from his personal past show up in great expectations for example he had to be taken out of school as his dad was imprisoned for debt ( like Pip would have been ) so therefore he himself had a hard background and probably one day dreamed of being rich.
All in all Dickens has managed to highlight the relationship between Pip and Joe at the same time as deal with the class system of the Victorian age. he has used many techniques may t be changing perspective, to using language and writing techniques like repetition and symbolism Dickens has created an epic adventure of young boy as well as showing how his actions effect people around him and has also highlighted the things wrong about the so called ‘Gentleman’ and the importance of loyalty and love within a relationship.