Great Expectations Character Analysis

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Alaina Vierra
English I – 7th Period
17 February 2011
In Charles Dickens Victorian novel, Great Expectations, he develops many characters; one of these characters being Mr. Joe Gargery. Joe is Pip’s brother in law, but is more of a father figure as him and Pip’s sister Mrs. Joe Gargery has raised Pip by hand. Joe is a man of many traits, and as the story progresses we begin to see this more and more. We learn that Joe Gargery is uneducated, patient, and caring.

Joe is shown to be a very uneducated man. The first time we notice this is after Pip writes him a letter on page 46. After handing Joe his letter, all Joe continues to do is point out all of the J’s and O’s and put them together to spelling Jo. “ ‘Why here’s a J,’ said Joe, ‘and a O equal to anything! Here’s a J and a O, Pip, and a J-O Joe.’ ” (Dickens 46). Another time Joe’s lack of education is evident, is on their journey to Mrs. Havisham’s. On this venture, Joe looks down the entire time and when asked a question directs all of his answers towards Pip. This event just shows how uneducated Joe really is, as he cannot even talk to an elder of higher authority without cowering down like a little boy. Later in the novel, Mr. Jaggers comes to tell Joe and Pip of Pip’s newfound fortune and step towards becoming a gentleman. Though throughout this entire conversation, you begin to notice that Joe is very distant and holds a confused look on his face. This too contributes to show that Joe is an uneducated man.

There are many ways we could prove Joe to be a patient man. One of the most obvious events would be that of his wife. Throughout the novel you see that Mrs. Joe is very hard not only on Pip, but on Joe as well. Even through all of the hate and violence that may arise from day to day in the household, Joe’s everlasting love for Mrs. Joe pulls through to the audience every time as he endures these moments with ease. In the end, Joe always ends up loving Mrs. Joe regardless of the...
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