Great Expectations

Great Expectations

An orphan Pip meets at the village school, Biddy moves into the forge to help out after Mrs. Joe's attack and later becomes a schoolteacher. She is humble, kind, moral, and fiercely intelligent, absorbing knowledge without any formal education. She is also sharply perceptive and sees through everyone's pretensions, calling Pip out on his delusions and snobbery long before Pip can recognize them.

Biddy Quotes in Great Expectations

The Great Expectations quotes below are all either spoken by Biddy or refer to Biddy. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Class Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Great Expectations published in 2001.
Book 1, Chapter 18 Quotes

…as Joe and Biddy became more at their cheerful ease again, I became quite gloomy. Dissatisfied with my fortune, of course I could not be; but it is possible that I may have been, without quite knowing it, dissatisfied with myself.

Related Characters: Pip Pirrip (speaker), Joe Gargery, Biddy
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Book 1, Chapter 19 Quotes

"Oh, there are many kinds of pride," said Biddy, looking full at me and shaking her head; "Pride is not all of one kind…[Joe] may be too proud to let any one take him out of a place that he is competent to fill, and fills well and with respect."

Related Characters: Biddy (speaker), Pip Pirrip, Joe Gargery
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Book 3, Chapter 58 Quotes

Dear Joe, I hope you will have children to love, and that some little fellow will sit in this chimney-corner, of a winter night, who may remind you of another little fellow gone out of it forever. Don't tell him, Joe, that I was thankless; don't tell him, Biddy, that I was ungenerous and unjust; only tell him that I honoured you both because you were both so good and true, and that, as your child, I said it would be natural to him to grow up a much better man than I did.

Related Characters: Pip Pirrip (speaker), Joe Gargery, Biddy
Page Number: 376
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irur

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Biddy Character Timeline in Great Expectations

The timeline below shows where the character Biddy appears in Great Expectations. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 7
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
...Pip struggles to learn and finally starts to read and write with the help of Biddy, an orphan who is the live-in granddaughter of Mr. Wopsle's great-aunt. At home one night,... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 10
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
...Pip decides a few days later to achieve his goal by becoming educated and asks Biddy to teach him all she knows. Biddy agrees. Still, Pip struggles amidst the hectic squalor... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 12
Social Class Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
..."Break their hearts!" Pip tells no one about his experiences at Miss Havisham's except for Biddy, who expresses concern that, at the time, he did not understand. Meanwhile, Mrs. Joe and... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 16
Parents Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...patient as those around her try to communicate with her by slate. Joe is heartbroken. Biddy moves into the house to take care of Mrs. Joe and is able to interpret... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 17
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
...where she gives him a guinea he spends on books to study. But Pip sees Biddy changing: she is cleaner and neater, noticeably pretty. One evening, while Pip sits studying, Pip... (full context)
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
On their walk, Pip confesses to Biddy his dissatisfaction with the blacksmith trade and his wish to be a gentleman to disprove... (full context)
Social Class Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Pip cries and Biddy comforts him and tells him she is glad that Pip feels he can confide on... (full context)
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
...they are walking, Orlick appears out of nowhere and tries to walk them home but Biddy whispers to Pip not to let him, saying she doesn't like him. Pip and Biddy... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 18
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Joe and Pip return to the forge separately. Pip breaks a tense silence to tell Biddy the news. Biddy and Joe congratulate Pip though Pip thinks "there was a certain touch... (full context)
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
...and nostalgic for the past. Through his bedroom window, Pip sees Joe smoking outside with Biddy. Because Joe never smokes so late, Pip infers that he must want comforting "for some... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 19
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
...do if Joe were "better qualified for a rise in station." After tea, he takes Biddy out for a walk and asks her to teach Joe manners so that Pip might... (full context)
Social Class Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Joe, Biddy, and Pip are all sad at Pip's departure. Pip has asked Joe not to walk... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 27
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
Pip receives a letter from Biddy informing him that Joe is travelling to London the next day with Mr. Wopsle and... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 35
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
...the ceremony, Pip delights Joe by asking to sleep in his childhood room. He scolds Biddy in private for not writing to tell him about Mrs. Joe's condition. Biddy replies that... (full context)
Parents Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Pip asks to hear the particulars of Mrs. Joe's death and Biddy tells him her last words were "Joe," "Pardon," and "Pip." Pip asks her about Orlick... (full context)
Social Class Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
Biddy tells Pip how much Joe loves him. Pip tells Biddy he will visit the forge... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 39
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
...for him. He is even more devastated to realize that he has deserted Joe and Biddy for the sake of a criminal, a potentially violent man. Thinking along these lines, Pip... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 57
Parents Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
...he doesn't deserve Joe's kindness, but Joe is warm and loving and holds no grudge. Biddy has taught Joe to write and he updates her on Pip's state by letter. (full context)
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
...his recent affairs, broaches the subject of Provis, Joe brushes it off, telling Pip that Biddy has convinced him not to dwell on "unnecessary subjects" and emphasizes that he and Pip... (full context)
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
...to thank Joe and to apologize to him. He is also eager to propose to Biddy, whose goodness he wants hereafter to be guided by. Pip resolves to work in the... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 58
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
...delighted to see the old familiar landscape. Upon returning home he discovers that Joe and Biddy have just been married that morning. They are overjoyed to see Pip and Pip congratulates... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 59
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
...years. He comes back to the forge one night in December and finds Joe and Biddy sitting happily at the hearth with their young son Pip. Pip gets along famously with... (full context)