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There was a gay fiction among us that we were constantly enjoying ourselves, and a skeleton truth that we never did. To the best of my belief, our case was in the last aspect a rather common one. (34.8)
This is like someone posting a bunch of party pictures on Facebook in the attempt to convince her friends (and herself) that she is having the time of her life, when really she's exhausted and doesn't even like parties. Pip and Herbert are trying to keep up with society, but they're just hungry and getting into debt.
Many a time of an evening, when I sat alone looking at the fire, I thought, after all, there was no fire like the forge fire and the kitchen fire at home. (34.1)
It's not all marshes and darkness down by the river: Joe's forge is cozy and warm, especially once the threat of Mrs. Joe is neutralized. This just might be the most home-like of any place Pip goes.
As we got more and more into debt, breakfast became a hollower and hollower form, and, being on one occasion at breakfast-time threatened (by letter) with legal proceedings, "not unwholly unconnected," as my local paper might put it, "with jewellery," I went so far as to seize the Avenger by his blue collar and shake him off his feet—so that he was actually in the air, like a booted Cupid—for presuming to suppose that we wanted a roll. (34.10)
Money isn't all about dreams and visions of grandeur—it's also tied to matters of survival and ugly realities, like having to eat Ramen for breakfast and reuse your coffee grounds. (Just us?)