The Importance Of Happiness In Great Expectations

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According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, happiness is “a state of well-being and contentment” (happiness). Happiness looks different to all people. To some it may be connections with friends and family, owning a dog, or possibly having a large sum of money. The relationship between wealth and happiness can be a complicated one for those who focus on the thought that money will make them content. In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, it can be seen that wealth does not equal genuine happiness and satisfaction. Throughout Great Expectations, the main character Pip goes through numerous ups and downs in his life because he struggles with recognizing that more wealth does not mean more happiness. Once he starts to be ashamed of his family’s…show more content…
Joe is a poor blacksmith, living in a shack located in the marshes; however, he is a loving man who cares for people with his whole entire heart. Joe does not need money to feel satisfied with himself and his life. While Biddy was talking about Joe she said, “He [Joe] may be too proud to let anyone take him out of a place that he is competent to fill, and fills well and with respect”(Dickens 155-156). Biddy is shaming Pip for thinking anything negative about Joe. She sees that Joe is a great man who is proud of his work and is happy with himself the way he is. Joe does not need money to live life because he is already fulfilled with the little that he has, unlike Pip. Joe agrees with what Biddy was saying: “... see Joe the blacksmith...in the old burnt apron, sticking to the old work. I’m awful dull, but I hope I’ve beat out something nigh the rights of this at last” (Dickens 239). It can be seen that Joe knows that most people see him as a lowly blacksmith, because that is what he is. Nonetheless, he knows that he is a good man who treats others with respect. He is noble and is satisfied with his work. Lastly, Joe also believes that money can not buy relationships in addition to joy and satisfaction. He says, “But if you think as money can make compensation to me for the loss of the little child—what come to the forge—and ever the best of friends!” (Dickens 148). Joe obviously feels that money is no way to have good relationships and you cannot buy people away from others. Happiness and having good bonds with the ones that you love is worth more than any sum of
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