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The following are possible major points that I could think of. Please relate the points with the original text.
- Though a loving 'stepfather', Joe failed to provide Pip with abundant materialistic enjoyment and affluence owing to his occupation and education. Pip acquired the opportunity to be a 'gentleman' was largely due to Miss Havisham's help.
- Joe received little education. Dickens deliberately included a lot of dialects in Joe's speeches to put emphasis on his incapability of giving 'gentlemen education' as well as upper-class insights to Pip.
- Joe's inability to conform to rituals is fully reflected in his visit to London. Yet, this demerit can be more or less understandable, especially when one has a deep recognition on Joe's social context.
- The lack of high connections such as those of Mrs. Sparsit in Hard Times (another novel by Dickens) could be perceived as a disadvantage to the whole family.
- Try to explain the relationship between Joe's inability (on the surface) and character (innate). Humbleness could be a point that deserves elaboration.
- If you were composing an essay, I suggest that you can explain briefly the significance of Joe's inability in the novel. A possible argument would be Dickens shaped Joe's demerits in a way that every sensible reader who, after scrupulous perusal of the fiction, would discover the authentic 'light' of human nature, one of the penetrating themes in Great Expectations. Did Joe consider his poverty (or other related weaknesses) a real misfortune? What was Dickens's voice in the delineation of Joe's inabilities?
Hope that you will enjoy your writing and reading.
1. From my teacher's advice (I once read great expectations and wrote about joe's characterisation in relation to his defects) 2. From my own opinion