Charles Dickens masterpiece, Great Expectations is definitely one of my favourite books. It follows Pip from his childhood and onto his later life. The story is engaging and full of interesting characters; the aggrieved Miss Havisham, the loving and kind Joe, the haughty and distant Estella and the convict Magwitch. There are many plot twists and human emotions: despair, hope, love and hate. We can all relate to Pips character as a child with his family relationships, desires and failures.
The character that really stood out to me was, Joe, his sister’s husband. Pip was often ridiculed and made fun of. Children, especially at that time were better ‘seen and not heard’, so as an orphan he was constantly reminded by his sister, who was his guardian, that he should be grateful for everything he was given. His life was devoid of love, apart from Joe. Joe loved him and provided for him, took his side and was his best friend; he was everything a surrogate father should be, and more.
One of the loveliest quotes from the book, I feel, is the way Pip expressed his gratitude to Joe for his care for him when he was a boy. As Pip was departing his childhood home for good, he said these moving words:
“O dear good Joe, who I was so ready to leave and so unthankful to, I see you again, with your muscular blacksmith’s arm before your eyes, and your broad chest heaving, and your voice dying away. O dear good faithful tender Joe; I feel the loving tremble of your hand upon my arm, as solemnly this day as if it had been the rustle of an angel’s wing!”
I feel it shows Pip’s tenderness and appreciation for his good friend’s kindness throughout his childhood years. He likened Joe’s hand as the peace and safety one could feel if you were truly touched by an angel.
Please read this wonderful book if you can.