© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Great Expectations

Great Expectations


by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Whenever I watched the vessels standing out to sea with their white sails spread, I somehow thought of Miss Havisham and Estella; and whenever the light struck aslant, afar off, upon a cloud or sail or green hill-side or water-line, it was just the same. Miss Havisham and Estella and the strange house and the strange life appeared to have something to do with everything that was picturesque. (15.4)

Okay, we all feel a little dreamy when he look off at the horizon—Pip is just a lot more poetic about it. When he looks out onto the marshes and sees horizon is populated by sails or other things, Pip instantly feels closer to his dreams. His fear? Having nothing on the horizon, and nothing to hope for.

Quote #2

She had adopted Estella, she had as good as adopted me, and it could not fail to be her intention to bring us together. She reserved it for me to restore the desolate house, admit the sunshine into the dark rooms, set the clocks a going and the cold hearths a blazing, tear down the cobwebs, destroy the vermin—in short, do all the shining deeds of the young Knight of romance, and marry the Princess. (29.2)

Pip's dreams seem to be made of images, actions, and theatrical elements rather than emotions or substantive encounters. Well, that makes sense—they're dreams. Instead of imagining a real moment of happiness and understanding with Estella, Pip imagines dramatically and magically curing Satis House. It's all very Beauty and the Beast, minus the singing candelabra. (We wish there were a singing candelabra.)

Quote #3

The lady whom I had never seen before, lifted up her eyes and looked archly at me, and then I saw that the eyes were Estella's eyes. But she was so much changed, was so much more beautiful, so much more womanly, in all things winning admiration had made such wonderful advance, that I seemed to have made none. I fancied, as I looked at her, that I slipped hopelessly back into the coarse and common boy again. O the sense of distance and disparity that came upon me, and the inaccessibility that came about her! (29.38)

Is it just us, or does Pip seem a lot more interested in thinking about the distance between himself and his dream than about the dream—i.e., Estella—itself? We get the sense that he wouldn't even know what to do with her if he got her.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...