The Elements of Fortune and Contentment Dissected in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Decent Essays
Would you rather be prosperous and disheartened or common and jovial with your life? Joe Gargery showed that wealth doesn’t define one’s personality but personality defines ones wealth, Miss Havisham shows that wealth is everything but that emotions don’t matter, and Jaggers shows that some gentlemen have dispirited lives despite all of their riches. Characters in the novel such as Joe Gargery, Miss Havisham, and Jaggers represent that life is not always perfect whether someone is rich or poor. In the novel, Great Expectations, Charles Dickens uses the element of fortune and social class to show the dynamic of how wealth doesn’t guarantee contentment.
Joe Gargery, Pip's brother-in-law and a benevolent blacksmith , is very satisfied with his status as a member of the lower class. He believes that he’s “wrong out of the forge” (224) and well off working in what he senses is his rightful place. In an unqualified, typical lower class setting Joe is contented and able to be himself, but he feels abnormal and tense in a higher-class, environment. He feels out of place in Miss Havisham’s mansion, Satis House, a vast dissimilarity from his own modest home. Joe targets all his answers to Miss Havisham’s queries at Pip, displaying abnormal uneasiness and a “great politeness” (99). Joe, in all his inelegance around rich personalities and having no material wealth himself, is impeccably able to find cheerfulness. Joe Gargery really doesn’t worry if he’s the underprivileged or
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