Analysis on Mrs. Joe
"She's a-coming !" Mrs. Joe Gargery is the sister of Pip and the wife of Joe Gargery who live together. She lives in disconsolation raising Pip and being married to a lowly blacksmith. She constantly reminds Pip how lucky he was being raised by hand and frequently beating Pip with a stick named Tickler. '"If it warn't for me, you'd have been in the churchyard long ago, and stayed there. Who brought you up by hand?" She has a heavy apron that is full of needles and pins that were stuck onto it which seemed to end up in Pip and Joe's and mouths. This apron is like her shield that protects her from any kind of compassion. Mrs. Joe serves as the tyrant of the household and scares Pip and Joe when her anger besets her. Her domineering behavior suddenly ends by a mysterious attack that left her half paralyzed which could have changed her for the better.
Taking care of her husband Joe and her brother Pip at the forge is her only responsibilty. She has no enjoyment in her occupation and puts many guilt trips on Pip and Joe for her efforts. "I'd never do it agian! I know that. I may truly say I've never had this apron off, since born you were". Having to be responsible for Pip after the death of their parents isnt something that would make Mrs. Joe happy. Mrs. Joe's numerous derogatory references to being married to "a lowly blacksmith" illustrates her unhappy marriage to Joe and also ends up taking care Joe also. "It's bad enough to be a blacksmith's wife..." Being imperious to both of the males in the household is very ironic. Mrs. Joe is the commanding father-figure that opressively causes Joe and Pip to be in fear. The home life is supposedly filled by a pair of nurturing parents, however, in this book, the home serves as sort of a microcosm ruled by Mrs. Joe. Often, in this time, women suffered from the abuse of their husbands, however, Joe is clearly the one being abused in this story. Mrs. Joe is more masculine, and therefore, typically a more commanding character.
"When she had exhausted a torrent of such inquiries, she threw a
candlestick at Joe, burst into a loud sobbing, got out the dustpan -- which was always a very bad sign -- put on her coarse apron, and began cleaning up to a terrible extent. Not satisfied with a dry cleaning, she took to a pail and scrubbing-brush, and cleaned us out of house and home,..." Obviously Mrs. Joe is sickened with her life and could destroy a household if simple housework upsets her. We see mothers exert themselves of great frustration over household tasks. Mrs. Joe easily serves as Pip and Joe's mother and may have the attitude of a scornful mother. Being dedicated to housekeeping duties leaves her no time to have any sort of social life. "Perhaps if I warn't a blacksmith's wife, and a slave with her apron never off, I should have been to hear the carols." Mrs. Joe unhappiness comes from her tedious working life in the forge. Having the responsibility of taking care of an entire household can make anybody frustrated. Her misery is originated by the life that she is living in.
Mrs. Joe is married to a compassionate man who shows tender loving care for her. Evidently, Mrs. Joe is unable to give any compassion in return to her spouse. It would take a truly loving man to want to stay with such a terrifying spouse. We know Joe loves Mrs. Joe and would never consider divorcing his wife. Mrs. Joe does not show bit of love and tenderness to Joe, instead we see Mrs. Joe's complaints and insults about Joe. "Like you, you fool!" There is never any kissing involved and much less any child births. Mrs. Joe ability to love a person does not seem to exist. She does recognize herself as being married to a husband that is is on her side. "Me, a married woman! With my husband standing by!"