Joe Gargery is Pips brother in law and is a very kind and honest person. Joe is a blacksmith with no social class or manners and very less money but he still is very nice, suffers in silence, and acts for his loved ones. Joe always stands by Pip we know this by when he comes late home after being threatened by Magwitch; Joe quickly tells him to hide behind the door as Mrs Joe is looking for him with the tickler (a stick which both Joe and Pip were hit with) also Joe and Pip were like friends as they both used to talk to each other about Mrs Joe and how strict she was we also know this by the way they both used to have a competition whilst eating their buttered loaf of bread. Joe is also a victim of Mrs Joe as he is beaten and punished for doing things. Joe makes the opening chapters effective as he is funny, because he is a grown man and still is beaten by his wife.
Mrs Joe is Pip’s sister who is looking after him after his mother and father have died. She is extremely cruel and strict we know this by because she hits both Pip her brother and Joe her husband a lot, furthermore Mrs Joe does not let both Joe and Pip talk whilst they eat and there are restricted to ask questions or have a general conversations in her presence. Mrs Joe is obsessed with keeping her house clean and always tries to have it that way. Also Mrs Joe is cruel as she beats Pip very badly with the tickler and makes both of them drink a foul tasting liquid (Tar-Water) this also makes us feel very sympathetic for Pip and Joe as they have to put up with a heartless person like Mrs Joe. Ms Joe makes the opening chapters effective as she is very strict and cruel and makes us feel concerned for Pip and Joe.
The first setting of Great Expectations opens in a misty, foggy dark evening were we see Pip standing in the bleak church graveyard covered in overgrown with nettles and wild plants he is there looking at seven gravestones buried under who are his five brothers and his parents. The despondent opening and dark foggy marshes make and opening setting have a cold and damp effect this is increased and creates a sense of dreariness. The setting seems very scary and would be daunting for Pip as a seven-year-old child as there is no one around and he is alone. The next setting we see is Pip’s home this rather basic and to a low standard but Pip would consider this to be much safer within the house we see the essentials things that are needed and a forge as Joe is blacksmith. Later on in the play Pip is ashamed of this same house as he turns out to be a snob and degrades Joe and Biddy Joes wife as they are not rich and at a high social class.
Throughout the novel we hear the story from older Pip’s point of view as he is the narrator and is describing his past life because Pip is narrating his story many years after the novel take place, there are really two Pips in Great Expectations Pip the narrator and Pip the character the voice telling the story and the person acting it out. Dickens differentiates the two Pips very well, as he fills the voice of Pip the narrator with perspective and maturity while tells us how Pip the character feels about what is happening to him as it actually happens in the novel.
As Pip is narrating the novel we get to Pip very well and understand him in great detail and how he would see the world, also we see Pip change from a hard working apprentice of Joe’s to When Pip becomes a gentleman he immediately begins to act as he thinks a gentleman is supposed to act, which leads him to treat Joe and Biddy snobbishly and impersonally making them feel a lower class compared to him. Right the way through the play we only see Pips point of view and we do not get to hear from other peoples views.
In great expectations, there are many themes that run all the way through the novel these include: affection, loyalty, conscience, social advancement, wealth and class changes, and divides. The theme of ambition and self-improvement in this play is when Pip had the desire to become a gentleman to please Estella he had this desire when he saw Satis house for the first time and when Estella and Pip first met.
Pip wanted to do this so that he becomes the same social class as her and becomes rich so that she would like him and then they would get married. As Pip tried to achieve this ambition and tried to improve himself, Pip changed a lot and forgot about the things that really mattered in his life most e.g. how he treated his family we see a big example of this when Pip degrading his family and home as he turned snobbish after going to London trying to be a gentleman furthermore when Joe came to London to visit Pip the way that Pip treated him was completely different as if he didn’t know him and didn’t want anything to do with him.
The theme of crime, guilt, and innocence is explored throughout the novel largely through the characters. An example of this is when at first Pip is very immature and naï¿½ve and has a very strong conscience as when he is taking the food out the cupboard to take to Magwitch he hears voices saying ‘Mrs Joe wake, Mrs Joe up wake up’ also when Pip has the left the house and is running to marshes he hears the cow the horse and other things and animals saying ‘catch that thief catch that thief’. Another example of this is when the guards come to get the handcuffs fixed for the convicts and when both Joe and Pip help to go along and find them he strong conscience is seen again as he thinks that everyone will find out that he helped Magwitch and stole food for him, thinking of Pip becomes extremely frightened.
The theme of Social Class plays a main role in the novel as Dickens was trying to explain the social differences between the rich and the poor in the Victorian times. Furthermore Pip’s realisation that wealth and class are less important than affection, loyalty, and inner worth. Pip achieves this realisation when he is finally able to understand that a person’s social status is in no way connected to their real character
In addition, the way that Pip changed class would have been very difficult for someone else but as he had the help of a benefactor, he was aided, from being low class person with no education, no money, and a basic home to a middle class rich person, with education and a gentleman I think that the first two chapters were effective way start to the book as it opened there was a lot of action and a build up of tension when Pip was getting threatened by Magwitch and was told to steal the food and the file.