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Great Expectations

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations Pip Quotes Page 3

Quote #7

And now, because my mind was not confused enough before, I complicated its confusion fifty thousand-fold, by having states and seasons when I was clear that Biddy was immeasurably better than Estella, and that the plain honest working life to which I was born, had nothing in it to be ashamed of, but offered me sufficient means of self-respect and happiness. (17.74)

Pip is divided here between the familiar and the, well, sexy. Biddy is familiar, which makes her common in a literal sense: it's common for Pip to see her, because she basically lives with him. Estella is uncommon not because she's beautiful and well-education but because he doesn't spend a lot of time in close contact with her. Learning to value the common is part of Pip's growing up.

Quote #8

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 #9

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.)

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