Great Expectations

You are viewing our collection of quotations taken from Great Expectations.


Great Expectations was the thirteenth novel from Victorian author Charles Dickens and first published between 1860 and 1861.

Click on a quotation to discover more background information, the context in which it was used, links to the original source material and the ability to rate each quote.


They took up several obviously wrong people, and they ran their heads very hard against wrong ideas, and persisted in trying to fit the circumstances to the ideas, instead of trying to extract ideas from the circumstances.

Background. "They took up several obviously wrong people, and they ran their heads very hard against wrong ideas, and persisted in trying to fit the circumstances to the ideas, instead of trying to extract ideas from the circumstances." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 16). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. This quote is a criticism of the professionalism of the Bow Street Runners, the first professional police force in [...]

2018-11-05T08:23:08+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: , |

When he were overtook with drink, he hammered away at my mother, most onmerciful.

Background. "When he were overtook with drink, he hammered away at my mother, most onmerciful." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 7). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. This quote is said by Joe Gargery to Pip. describing his cruel and abusive father, who used to hit Joe and his mother with a hammer when drunk. Taken from the following passage in Chapter 7 of Great Expectations: I derived from [...]

2018-10-31T14:37:24+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: , |

I sometimes have sick fancies.

Background. "I sometimes have sick fancies." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 8). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. Quotation said by the character Miss Havisham talking to Pip. Miss Havisham asks Pip to play with Estella to amuse her. Taken from the following passage in Chapter 8 of Great Expectations: “Who is it?” said the lady at the table. “Pip, ma’am.” “Pip?” “Mr. Pumblechook’s boy, ma’am. Come—to play.” “Come nearer; [...]

2018-10-29T09:48:40+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: |

A natural incapacity to do anything secret and mean.

Background. "A natural incapacity to do anything secret and mean." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 22). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. Description of Herbert Pocket. Taken from the following passage in Chapter 22 of Great Expectations: Herbert Pocket had a frank and easy way with him that was very taking. I had never seen any one then, and I have never seen any one since, who more strongly expressed [...]

2018-10-12T08:19:29+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: |

I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me.

Background. "I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 38). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. Quotation said by the character Estella. Taken from the following passage in Chapter 38 of Great Expectations: We were seated by the fire, as just now described, and Miss Havisham [...]

2018-10-11T18:02:27+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: |

The magistrates shivered under a single bite of his finger. Thieves and thief-takers hung in dread rapture on his words, and shrank when a hair of his eyebrows turned in their direction.

Background. "The magistrates shivered under a single bite of his finger. Thieves and thief-takers hung in dread rapture on his words, and shrank when a hair of his eyebrows turned in their direction." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 24). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. This quote describes the lawyer Jaggers., a man who instilled fear in both members of the judiciary and criminals alike. Quotation taken from the [...]

2018-10-11T08:31:41+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: , , |

Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be.

Background. "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 59). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. Taken from the following passage in Chapter 59 of Great Expectations, in which Estella is talking to Pip about their friendship: "But you said to me, returned Estella, very earnestly, “God bless you, God forgive you!’ [...]

2018-10-12T08:21:02+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: , |

In a word, it was impossible for me to separate her, in the past or in the present, from the innermost life of my life.

Background. "In a word, it was impossible for me to separate her, in the past or in the present, from the innermost life of my life." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 29). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. Pip sums up his feelings for Estella. Taken from the opening passage in Chapter 29 of Great Expectations: Estella laughed, and looked at the shoe in her hand, and laughed again, and [...]

2018-09-27T23:33:41+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: , |

Her light came along the dark passage like a star.

Background. "Her light came along the dark passage like a star." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 8). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context.  In this quotation the character Pip (as narrator) describes Estella as she walks towards him along a gloomy passageway at the decaying mansion of Miss Havisham, Satis House. Although the reference to 'her light ... like a star' is that from a candle, the fondness in [...]

My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things.

Background. "My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 1). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. Quotation said the character Pip, as narrator, at the beginning of Great Expectations. Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations in the first person, seen from Pip's point of view of his life. The novel is a Bildungsroman, a German term for an education or self-development novel. [...]

2018-09-20T09:09:20+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: |
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