Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Joe Gargery Character Analysis

As Mrs. Joe's husband, Joe is a father figure for Pip throughout Pip's childhood and his tender kindness protects Pip from Mrs. Joe's harsh parenting. Joe is the village blacksmith and has no formal education but possesses a deep sense of integrity and an unfailing moral compass. Joe is loyal, generous, and kind, and acts lovingly towards Pip even when Pip's is ungrateful.

Joe Gargery Quotes in Great Expectations

The Great Expectations quotes below are all either spoken by Joe Gargery or refer to Joe Gargery. 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:
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). 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 9 Quotes

"…lies is lies. Howsoever they come, they didn't ought to come, and they come from the father of lies, and work round to the same. Don't you tell no more of ‘em, Pip. That ain't the way to get out of being common, old chap…If you can't get to be uncommon through going straight, you'll never get to do it through going crooked."

Related Characters: Joe Gargery (speaker), Pip Pirrip
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

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…my young mind was in that disturbed and unthankful state that I thought long after I laid me down, how common Estella would consider Joe, a mere blacksmith: how thick his boots, and how coarse his hands. I thought how Joe and my sister were then sitting in the kitchen, and how Miss Havisham and Estella never sat in a kitchen, but were far above the level of such common things.

Related Characters: Pip Pirrip (speaker), Estella Havisham, Joe Gargery, Miss Havisham, Mrs. Joe Gargery
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 1, Chapter 13 Quotes

I was truly wretched, and had a strong conviction on me that I should never like Joe's trade. I had liked it once, but once was not now.

Related Characters: Pip Pirrip (speaker), Joe Gargery
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 1, Chapter 15 Quotes

I wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common, that he might be worthier of my society and less open to Estella's reproach.

Related Characters: Pip Pirrip (speaker), Estella Havisham, Joe Gargery
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:

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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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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:

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Book 2, Chapter 27 Quotes

"Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man's a blacksmith, and one's a whitesmith, and one's a goldsmith, and one's a coppersmith. Divisions among such must come, and must be met as they come. If there's been any fault at all to-day, it's mine. You and me is not two figures to be together in London; nor yet anywheres else but what is private, and beknown, an understood among friends. It ain't that I am proud, but that I want to be right, as you shall never see me no more in these clothes. I'm wrong in these clothes. I'm wrong out of the forge, the kitchen, or off th'meshes. You won't find half so much fault in me if you think of me in my forge dress, with my hammer in my hand, or even my pipe."

Related Characters: Joe Gargery (speaker), Pip Pirrip
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 3, Chapter 55 Quotes

For now my repugnance to [Provis] had all melted away, and in the hunted wounded shackled creature who held my hand in his, I only saw a man who had meant to be my benefactor, and who had felt affectionately, gratefully, and generously towards me with great constancy through a series of years. I only saw in him a much better man than I had been to Joe.

Related Characters: Pip Pirrip (speaker), Provis (a.k.a. Abel Magwitch) (a.k.a. the convict), Joe Gargery
Page Number: 350
Explanation and Analysis:

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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:

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Joe Gargery Character Timeline in Great Expectations

The timeline below shows where the character Joe Gargery appears in Great Expectations. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 1
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
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...who never lived out of infancy. He lives with his older sister, and her husband, Joe Gargery, the town blacksmith. They live in southeast England, in "marsh country," near the sea. (full context)
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...spot behind a grave and grabs Pip. When the man learns that Pip lives with Joe Gargery the blacksmith, he warns Pip that he has a friend, the young man, who... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 2
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When Pip returns home, his uncle Joe, the blacksmith, warns Pip that Pip's sister, Mrs. Joe, has been furiously looking for him... (full context)
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...Pip is climbing up to bed, he hears the sound of great guns fired. When Joe says that the sound signals an escaped convict, Pip asks him to explain what a... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 4
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Pip returns home from the marshes and lies about where he's been, telling Mrs. Joe that he's been out listening to the Christmas morning carols. Mrs. Joe is grumpily preparing... (full context)
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...that it is a special Christmas Day service keeps him from doing so. Pip and Joe return home to a house primped for the party and receive the guests: the haughty... (full context)
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Throughout the meal, Pip is terrified that his pantry theft will be discovered. When Mrs. Joe offers Uncle Pumblechook brandy (from the bottle Pip diluted with water after taking some for... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 5
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...the hunt for two escaped convicts and have come to the forge to see if Joe can repair the lock on their handcuffs. While Joe repairs the cuffs, the soldiers mill... (full context)
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Mr. Wopsle, Joe, and Pip follow the soldiers out into the wet, cold, misty marshes while Pip, confessing... (full context)
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...the group that he has stolen some food from the blacksmith. Everyone is astonished and Joe sympathetically tells the convict he was more than welcome to the food. Pip hears a... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 6
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On the way back to the forge with Joe and Mr. Wopsle, Pip is relieved that the convict has taken the blame for his... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 7
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Pip asks Joe whether Joe went to school and Joe says he didn't and begins to tell Pip... (full context)
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Mrs. Joe and Uncle Pumblechook burst in after a day at the market and excitedly explain that... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 9
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Upon returning home, Pip is barraged with questions about Miss Havisham by Mrs. Joe and Uncle Pumblechook, who has ridden over for tea. Yet, because he himself has such... (full context)
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Later, Pip confesses privately to Joe that the story was a lie. Joe is aghast and asks Pip what possessed him.... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 10
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After school, Pip goes to meet Joe at the village public house, the Three Jolly Bargeman. He finds Joe with Mr. Wopsle... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 12
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...for Biddy, who expresses concern that, at the time, he did not understand. Meanwhile, Mrs. Joe and Uncle Pumblechook enjoy imagining Miss Havisham's future patronage of Pip. One day, Miss Havisham... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 13
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Next day, Joe and Pip set off for Miss Havisham's. Mrs. Joe has insisted on walking to town... (full context)
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Pip and Joe leave Miss Havisham's and walk to Uncle Pumblechook's where Mrs. Joe has been waiting for... (full context)
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Uncle Pumblechook, Joe, and Mrs. Joe hurry Pip to the Town Hall to be officially bound as Joe's... (full context)
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Giddy with delight at the twenty-five guineas, Mrs. Joe insists that they celebrate it with a dinner at the Blue Boar, inviting Uncle Pumblechook,... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 14
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Pip is miserable in his apprenticeship to Joe, internally tormented by the "commonness" of his home, Joe's forge, and of the blacksmith's trade,... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 15
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...still hungry to learn and studies independently. Meanwhile, he tries to share his education with Joe by giving him lessons on the marsh each Sunday, though Pip is discouraged that Joe... (full context)
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During one of these lessons, Pip proposes to Joe that he pay a visit to Miss Havisham. Joe is skeptical, thinking that Miss Havisham... (full context)
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The next day at the forge, Joe's dour, lazy, hostile journeyman Orlick (who lies to the village and tells them his Christian... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 16
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...is convinced he himself must have had something to do with the crime against Mrs. Joe, and that he is the most likely suspect (a guilt he attributes as narrator to... (full context)
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Mrs. Joe sustains severe brain damage. She trembles and is unable to speak. She no longer has... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 18
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It is now four years into Pip's apprenticeship. Pip and Joe are gathered with a group at the Three Jolly Bargeman listening to Mr. Wopsle perform... (full context)
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The stranger requests a private conference with Joe and Pip, who, bewildered, follow the man into a parlor. Pip recognizes the stranger as... (full context)
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Joe and Pip return to the forge separately. Pip breaks a tense silence to tell Biddy... (full context)
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...excited for the future 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... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 19
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...lies down at the battery and falls asleep, daydreaming of Estella. Pip is awakened by Joe, who has followed him. Pip tells Joe he will never forget him and, when Joe... (full context)
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Pip regrets that Joe didn't get a chance to learn more in their lessons. Joe disagrees, saying he was... (full context)
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Joe, Biddy, and Pip are all sad at Pip's departure. Pip has asked Joe not to... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 27
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Pip receives a letter from Biddy informing him that Joe is travelling to London the next day with Mr. Wopsle and plans to visit Pip.... (full context)
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When Joe arrives, Pip is painfully aware of his country manners, awkward clothes, and discomfort. Joe calls... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 30
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...to London and, immediately upon arrival, sends "a penitential codfish and barrel of oysters to Joe" to make up for not having visited him. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 35
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...a formal funeral procession and outfits villagers in black mourning costumes in the forge's parlor. Joe confides to Pip that he'd wanted to carry Mrs. Joe on his own, but that... (full context)
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After the ceremony, Pip delights Joe by asking to sleep in his childhood room. He scolds Biddy in private for not... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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Biddy tells Pip how much Joe loves him. Pip tells Biddy he will visit the forge often in the future. Biddy... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 39
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...isn't destined 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... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 52
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...ungratefully neglects "the man that made him," Mr. Pumblechook. Pip is overcome with sympathy for Joe, who never complains and seems "truer" and "nobler" to Pip as he compares him with... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 57
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...sick to move, suffers feverish hallucinations. When he next gains consciousness, weeks have passed and Joe is at his side, having nursed him through his sickness. Pip is ashamed, feeling he... (full context)
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Joe updates Pip on the village news: Miss Havisham has died and left a large sum... (full context)
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Pip and Joe spend the days of Pip's recovery in tender companionship. Pip has lost all pretense around... (full context)
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As Pip grows stronger, Joe becomes less comfortable around him. While Pip was weak, Joe called him "old Pip, old... (full context)
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Pip is eager to thank Joe and to apologize to him. He is also eager to propose to Biddy, whose goodness... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 58
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...back and 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... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 59
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...for eleven 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... (full context)