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Great Expectations

Great Expectations


by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations Chapter 7 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:


Quote 1

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. (7.91)

It's not exactly going off to college, but this is still a big moment in Pip's little life: it's the first time he's sleeping under someone else's roof. (No slumber parties in nineteenth century English villages, apparently.) It's also a Garden of Eden moment: he's leaving his dream world by the marshes and heading off into a new kind of garden—a ruined and gated one.


Quote 2

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. (7.64)

Okay, what's weird about this is that Pip goes from seeing Joe as an equal to admiring him—which is the exact opposite of what happens to most kids and their parents. Does losing some of his innocence help him learn to respect Joe?


Quote 3

I had heard of Miss Havisham up town—everybody for miles round, had heard of Miss Havisham up town—as an immensely rich and grim lady who lived in a large and dismal house barricaded against robbers, and who led a life of seclusion. (7.80)

Pip's hometown is socially stratified. He lives in the "village," and Miss Havisham lives "up town." Apart from reminding us of a certain Billy Joel song, this delineation between the wealthy and working class in Kent is palpable and is reinforced by the gate that guards Miss Havisham's decaying riches. Also, notice that great privilege is closely linked to loneliness?

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