by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations Chapter 28 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pretences did I cheat myself. Surely a curious thing. That I should innocently take a bad half-crown of somebody else's manufacture, is reasonable enough; but that I should knowingly reckon the spurious coin of my own make, as good money! An obliging stranger, under pretence of compactly folding up my bank-notes for security's sake, abstracts the notes and gives me nutshells; but what is his sleight of hand to mine, when I fold up my own nutshells and pass them on myself as notes! (28.1)
Actually, the way Pip describes this self-swindling, it sounds pretty impressive—like when you lie so hard about where you were after curfew that you even convince yourself.
But I must have lost it longer than I had thought, since, although I could recognize nothing in the darkness and the fitful lights and shadows of our lamps, I traced marsh country in the cold damp wind that blew at us. Cowering forward for warmth and to make me a screen against the wind, the convicts were closer to me than before. The very first words I heard them interchange as I became conscious were the words of my own thought, "Two One Pound notes." (28.20)
We never get to see what lies between Kent and London, even though Pip makes this exact journey like ten million times. There's something almost mystical about the journey between each region. If the landscape of marsh country represents or reflects Pip's inner monologue, then the journey from London to Kent, replete with mistiness and all, is perhaps a journey into a state of self-reflection—like how Pip's thoughts are articulated in the convicts' real-time conversation. In the marsh country, there seems to be less of a division between internal life and external reality.
"At least I was no party to the compact," said Estella, "for if I could walk and speak, when it was made, it was as much as I could do. But what would you have? You have been very good to me, and I owe everything to you. What would you have?" "Love," replied the other. "You have it." "I have not," said Miss Havisham. (2.38.36-39)
Having raised Estella, bought her pretty things, given her all her jewels, Miss Havisham expects Estella to love her in return—but she's seriously misjudged the nature of love, just like she did when she was getting ready to marry a con artist.