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Whatever I acquired, I tried to impart to Joe. This statement sounds so well, that I can't in my conscience let it pass unexplained. I wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common, that he might be worthier of my society and less open to Estella's reproach. (15.2)
Pip is so caught up in the appearances of things that he feels like gentlemanly behavior can be caught, like a cold. Pip values the knowledge that Miss Havisham and Estella have over the common-man knowledge that Joe has, even though an idiot could see that Joe knows more about how the world works.
"Abroad," said Miss Havisham; "educating for a lady; far out of reach; prettier than ever; admired by all who see her. Do you feel that you have lost her?" (15.69)
Whenever I watched the vessels standing out to sea with their white sails spread, I somehow thought of Miss Havisham and Estella; and whenever the light struck aslant, afar off, upon a cloud or sail or green hill-side or water-line, it was just the same. Miss Havisham and Estella and the strange house and the strange life appeared to have something to do with everything that was picturesque. (15.4)
Okay, we all feel a little dreamy when he look off at the horizon—Pip is just a lot more poetic about it. When he looks out onto the marshes and sees horizon is populated by sails or other things, Pip instantly feels closer to his dreams. His fear? Having nothing on the horizon, and nothing to hope for.