by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations Contrasting Regions Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
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.
I turned my head aside, for, with a rush and a sweep, like the old marsh winds coming up from the sea, a feeling like that which had subdued me on the morning when I left the forge, when the mists were solemnly rising, and when I laid my hand upon the village finger-post, smote upon my heart again. There was silence between us for a little while. (30.41)
Just in case we're not getting it, Dickens basically lays it out for us here: the mists of Pip's hometown are an external representation of the mists inside his head. External is internal; internal is external.
"However, this is not London talk. Where do you think I am going to?" (32.5)
Wemmick feels so strongly the division and distinction between London and Walworth that he won't even talk about his personal life, almost as if it doesn't even exist. Pip and Wemmick are similar in that each man's home is very different from his life in London. But Pip rejects his home in the name of London, while Wemmick finds a way to make both coexist—by denying that home exists when he's at work, or that work exists while he's at home. Talk about work/live balance.