Great Expectations: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. "My fathers family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Phillip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip.  So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip." (Pg. 3) This is the opening statement of Dickens's novel and it shows us how simple the young Pip was before his expectations ever began. 
  2. ".I supposed that both Joe Gargery and I were brought up by hand." (Pg. 8) Again said by Pip, this quote explains Pip's meaning of being brought up by hand, which is by being beaten by his sister. 
  3. ".for he gave me a look that I did not understand, and it all passed in a moment.  But if he had looked at me for an hour, or a day, I could not have remembered his face ever afterwards, as having been more attentive." (Pg. 37) Pip is talking about his convict after the soldiers catch him.  This passage is important to the story because it foreshadows all that is to come.  Pip could not interpret what the convict felt for him. 
  4. "Well, I thought I overheard Miss Havisham answer- only it seemed so unlikely- 'Well, you can break his heart.'" (Pg. 59) Another instance of foreshadowing, this is the first point in the story when the reader can see Miss Havisham's plot with Estella.
  5. "They may not be worth much, but after all, they're property and portable.  It don't signify to you, with your brilliant lookout, but as to myself, my guiding star always is, Get hold of portable property." (Pg.199) This statement was made by Wemmick when he is talking about things he has collected from various trials and convicted persons. 
  6. "Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together, and as I may say, one man's a blacksmith, one's a whitesmith, and one's a goldsmith, and one's a coppersmith.  Diwisioins among such must come, and must be met as they come.'" (Pg. 222) This statement is made by Joe when leaving Pip and is Dickens's way of saying that no matter how much you love someone, sometimes you have to say goodbye. 
  7. " 'You must know,' said Estella, condescending to me as a beautiful woman might, 'that I have no heart- if that has anything to do with my memory.'" (Pg. 235) Estella's statement to Pip shows us that she thinks she has no emotion.  Pip does not believe her, but is hurt by the statement and the attitude. 
  8. " 'for I have seen you give him looks and smiles this very night, such as you never give to- me.' 'Do you want me then,' said Estella, turning suddenly with a fixed and serious, if not angry, look, 'to deceive and entrap you?' 'Do you deceive and entrap him Estella?' 'Yes, and many others-all of them but you.'" (Pg. 307) This conversation between Estella and Pip after she flirts with Drummle shows that of all the men in her life, Pip is the only one she cares a little about because she does not try to string him on. 
  9. "Yes, Pip, dear boy, I've made a gentleman on you!" (Pg. 315) Magwitch tells Pip this the first night he comes to his house.  It reveals that Magwitch is his benefactor and this one statement totally changes Pips outlook on his good fortune. 
  10. "I took her hand in mine and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw the shadow of no parting from her." (Pg. 479) Pip's statement shows that he finally has clarity in his thoughts and in his life.  This statement shows that after everything he has been through, Pip finally reaches his goal. 

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