Great Expectations Character Analysis

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On when discussing human nature, actor and producer Joe Mantegna explained that “There's good and evil going on. We have cops. We have robbers.” To contrast heroes from villains, authors often assign positive traits to the heroes of their stories, such as selflessness or courage, and negative traits to the villains of the story, such as greed and violence. In Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, most of the characters fit into Mantegna’s scheme. Great Expectations is a story about a boy named Pip who grows up in an impoverished village, inherits great expectations, and becomes a gentleman through those expectations. Nearly every character Dickens creates in Great Expectations are either good or evil, with a few exceptions. There are numerous examples of a ‘good’ character in Great Expectations. One of these characters is Pip’s father figure, and brother in-law, Mr. Joe Gargery. Joe is Pip’s best friend and, arguably, the character who loves Pip more than anyone else. Joe demonstrates his love, most aptly, in the Christmas dinner scene “But he always aided and comforted me when he could, in some way of his own, and he always did so at dinner-time by giving me gravy, if there were any”(pg 23). Here, Pip is being berated and blistered by a barrage of adults badgering on about how the young are never grateful. Joe comforts Pip by pouring him gravy every time one of the adults insults him. Joe does not participate, nor does he desire to participate in bullying Pip due to his love for Pip. Joe also exhibits love to other people besides Pip. At the start of the volume, a convict scares Pip into stealing a file and scraps of food for him. Later in the volume, Pip and Joe venture out and attempt to find that convict, with the help of some soldiers. They successfully find the convict, and the convict recognizes Pip. Surprisingly, the convict confesses to stealing the file and the food. Joe responds to the convict’s confession by explaining “We don’t know what you have done, but we wouldn’t have you starved to death for it”(pg 36). Even after a convict admits that he stole from Joe and his family, Joe is still kind and compassionate to him. Not even larceny could twist Joe into straying from his virtuosity. In Great
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