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"Well," said he, "I believe you. You'd be but a fierce young hound indeed, if at your time of life you could help to hunt a wretched warmint, hunted as near death and dunghill as this poor wretched warmint is!" (1.3.20)
Six year-old Pip is completely truthful and honest. Here we see the sharp contrast between innocent youth and the corrupt criminal. Pip loses a bit of this innocence, however, by feeding the convict and by supplying him with a file. He becomes an accessory to the convict’s crime, and this evening stays with Pip forevermore, causing him huge guilt at having to rob his sister and lie to Joe.
Young as I was, I believe that I dated a new admiration of Joe from that night. We were equals afterwards, as we had been before; but, afterwards at quiet times when I sat looking at Joe and thinking about him, I had a new sensation of feeling conscious that I was looking up to Joe in my heart. (1.7.64)
Pip the orphan is terrorized by his angry sister, but he has in Joe a father-figure. The force of Pip’s love and admiration of Joe at this moment is remarkable, and it’s clear he sees in Joe a mentor, role-model, brother, and father.
I had never parted from him before, and what with my feelings and what with soap-suds, I could at first see no stars from the chaise-cart. But they twinkled out one by one, without throwing any light on the questions why on earth I was going to play at Miss Havisham's, and what on earth I was expected to play at. (1.7.91)
This marks the beginning of Pip’s loss of innocence. He’s leaving his proverbial Garden of Eden and entering a new kind of garden (a ruined one and a gated one). Pip is seeking at this moment a guide or mentor to show the way. Without Joe, Pip is all by his lonesome, and, what’s more, he’s about to embark on a visit that will change the course of his life forevermore.