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Great Expectations Pip Quotes


Quote 40

The journey from our town to the metropolis, was a journey of about five hours. It was a little past mid-day when the four-horse stage-coach by which I was a passenger, got into the ravel of traffic frayed out about the Cross Keys, Wood-street, Cheapside, London. (20.1)

Okay, five hours is probably more like twenty minutes today. But just because you can get to London in a day doesn't mean that the two places have much in common: to Pip, this is like moving all the way across the continent for college.


Quote 41

My depression was not alleviated by the announcement, for, I had supposed that establishment to be an hotel kept by Mr. Barnard, to which the Blue Boar in our town was a mere public-house. Whereas I now found Barnard to be a disembodied spirit, or a fiction, and his inn the dingiest collection of shabby buildings ever squeezed together in a rank corner as a club for Tom-cats. (21.20)

Here's the first sign that Pip's great expectations aren't going to be all that great—and a clue to tell us not to split things in this book into simple categories of "good" and "bad." London may be different from Kent, but that doesn't mean it's nicer.


Quote 42

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.