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At the beginning of Great Expectations, Dickens presents Mrs. Joe as a very unpleasant character who is continually harassing her husband, Joe and her brother, Pip.

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Introduction

At the beginning of Great Expectations, Mrs. Joe is presented as a very unpleasant character. Analyse the ways in which Dickens presents her, and how he later elicits sympathy for her At the beginning of Great Expectations, Dickens presents Mrs. Joe as a very unpleasant character who is continually harassing her husband, Joe and her brother, Pip. Practically everything, Mrs. Joe does is described in an unfavourable and adverse way by Dickens. However, halfway through the book, she is attacked by someone in her kitchen and undergoes a complete personality change. When this happens, we feel a lot of sympathy for Mrs. Joe, as she becomes a passive character. The first thing we learn about Mrs. Joe is that she brings Pip up by hand: '...knowing her to have a hard and heavy hand, and to be much in the habit of laying it upon her husband as well as upon me, I supposed that Joe Gargery and I were both brought up by hand...had the general impression that she must have made Joe marry her by hand' The first things we hear about Mrs. ...read more.

Middle

Joe is hard to approach, she is once again described as masculine, which intimidates the reader, and she feels quite frightening. Mrs. Joe regularly complains about being married to Joe and bringing up Pip alone: 'It's bad enough to be a blacksmith's wife (and him a Gargery) without being your mother.' She regularly insults Joe, which to the reader seems very unfair, as Joe is described by Dickens as such a nice, good-natured man. The reader gains adverse opinions of her since she is being so mean to a character, which Dickens creates as one of the most decent people and most liked by the reader in the whole novel. Mrs. Joe's actions are described critically as well: 'First, with her left hand she jammed the loaf hard and fast against her bib where it sometimes got a pin into it and sometimes a needle...' The way in which she cuts the bread is described with words such as 'jammed' and 'hard and fast'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Joe. He feels anger towards the attacker and calls her, 'my poor sister'. Since Pip says this, the reader feels it strongly as we are greatly influenced by the emotions of the narrator, Pip. Dickens uses imagery to describe the burial of Mrs. Joe: 'And there, my sister was laid quietly in the earth while the larks sang high above it and the light wind strewed it with beautiful shadows of clods and trees.' Dickens describes the larks singing and a light wind casting beautiful shadows over her, which gives us a beautiful picture of the burial. These are the last words we hear of her and they create a big impact on the reader as we feel very sorry for her. At the beginning of the book, Mrs. Joe is an active character that makes Pip miserable and as we see the novel through Pip's eyes, the cruelty inflicted upon him by Mrs. Joe is seen by the reader to be very vivid. When Mrs. Joe is attacked, Pip's views of her change and so do the opinions of the readers. They feel sympathetic towards her. ...read more.

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