More coursework: 1 - A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I - J | K - L | M | N - O | P - S | T | U - Y

A character sketch of joe gargery

A Character Sketch of Joe Gargery

Joe Gargery might not be the smartest or wisest of Dickens' characters,

but he is definitely one of the kindest and most humane. Although Miss Havisham

gets much attention for being different, I think that you will soon be convinced

that Joe, however simple he may be, is definitely a unique character. It is my

opinion that Dickens made an effort to raise the readers respect for Joe by the

sharp contrast between him and his wife. Three qualities belonging to Joe are

his affectionate nature, pride, and his perseverance.

When Joe asks Mrs. Gargery to marry him, he especially insists that she

bring her young orphaned brother, Pip, to live with them. Joe never reminds Pip

of this fact, except when telling Pip how much he thinks of him. Mrs. Gargery,

on the other hand, is constantly reminding Pip to be thankful of her "raising

him by hand". At one point, Pip decides he will teach Joe to read. Although Joe

has no real aspiration for this, he humors Pip and lets the boy instruct him.

As mentioned before, Mrs. Gargery is a very cruel person. One would think

living with her would drive even a saint to kill. Even so, Joe never says a

harsh word about his wife and treats her with the utmost respect. Pip's

decision to go to London has a greater impact than most readers think. Not only

was Joe losing a set of hands around the forge, but he was also saying farewell

to a boy who must have been like a son to him. Joe knew that once Pip left

they would never have the same relationship. It was clear to Joe that this was

Pip's dream, so not once did he question the decision Pip had made.

When Pip is asked to come to Miss Havisham's and "play", Mrs. Gargery

and Pumblechook are driven crazy wondering what gift she will give Pip for his

service. Joe, on the other hand, pays no attention to their high hopes. His

pride is also evident when he turns down the money Jaggers offers him for Pip's

indentures. It is not that Joe couldn't use the money, after all he is losing

Pip's help in the forge and his wife is bedridden.

Joe proves to be a man of great perseverance. He manages to run a

smithy, be married to a wife with a temper that makes a rabid dog seem tame, and

be a father and friend to Pip. To have the responsibility of any one of these

would be enough to put a great deal of stress on any individual, much less all


I think that Dickens might have used Joe in connection with Biddy to

represent the opposite of Miss Havisham and Estella. Whatever the case, I feel

that Joe exhibits the three qualities mentioned and many other gratifying ones.

Be it today or a century ago, I believe that Joe Gargery is a unique character

because of his philanthropic ways.

About this resource

This coursework was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

Search our content:

  • Download this page
  • Print this page
  • Search again

  • Word count:

    This page has approximately words.



    If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows:

    Essay UK, A Character Sketch Of Joe Gargery. Available from: <> [27-05-20].

    More information:

    If you are the original author of this content and no longer wish to have it published on our website then please click on the link below to request removal: