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Great Expectations Dialectical Journal

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Kamran Shoaei

English II H

France, Period 3

4 May 2017

Dialectical Journal for Great Expectations

Quotation From the Text and Page and Chapter



"This was all I heard that night before my sister clutched me, as a slumberous offence to the company's eyesight, and assisted me up to bed with such a strong hand that I seemed to have fifty boots on." (Ch. 6: 42)

"Swine," pursued Mr. Wopsle, in his deepest voice, and pointing his fork at my blushes, as if he were mentioning my Christian name; "Swine were the companions of the prodigal. The gluttony of Swine is put before us, as an example to the young." (I thought this pretty well in him who had been praising up the pork for being so plump and juicy.) "What is detestable in a pig, is more detestable in a boy." (Ch. 4: 26-27)

"It was a rimy morning, and very damp. I had seen the damp lying on the outside of my little window, as if some goblin had been crying there all night, and using the window for a pocket-handkerchief. Now, I saw the damp lying on the bare hedges and spare grass, like a coarser sort of spiders' webs; hanging itself from twig to twig and blade to blade. On every rail and gate, wet lay clammy; and the marsh-mist was so thick, that the wooden finger on the post directing people to our village—a direction which they never accepted, for they never came there—was invisible to me until I was quite close under it. Then, as I looked up at it, while it dripped, it seemed to my oppressed conscience like a phantom devoting me to the Hulks." (Ch. 3: 16-17)

"I had heard of Miss Havisham up town—everybody for miles round, had heard of Miss Havisham up town—as an immensely rich and grim lady who lived in a large and dismal house barricaded against robbers, and who led a life of seclusion."(Ch. 7: 51)


"I set off on the four-mile walk to our forge; pondering, as I went along, on all I had see, and deeply revolving that I was a common labouring-boy; that my hands were coarse, that my boots were thick; that I had fallen into a despicable habit of calling knaves Jacks; that I was much more ignorant than I considered myself last night, and generally that I was in a low-lived bad way." (Ch. 8: 65)

This refers to the power of woman in this movement and how ironic it is. Women until recent history, were seen as inferior to men and lower. However, this quote describes a woman as so powerful and having "such a strong hang that I seemed to have fifty boots on.” A woman is presented with power over man, which was ironic to this time of history, and shows a feminist lens being used to show power to the females.

This example promotes Dicken's use of irony with the term "swine". See, at Christmas dinner, all are enjoying some food, but bagging on Pip and speaking negatively about him. They refer to him as a pig or specifically a swine. However, this is very ironic considering the rest of them are chowing down in a quick manor scorching down as much food as they possibly could. In a sense, they were the ones eating like pigs.

The device diction is used by Dickens to describe the day and dampness of it. This relates to a Victorian Age society because of the new thoughts and acceptance of new ideas that had never been questioned. He became able to move into a "direction which they never accepted". Personification is also used whilst describing the sign and the direction to which it pointed. This comes from the labelling of it as "a wooden finger on the post directing people to our village." Lastly, we can see a simile when the comparison between an oppressed conscience and phantom devoting to the Hulks is stated.

The idea of secrecy is brought up again, and self-improvement and ambition's outcome is also present. We consistently see a theme  of self-improvement and ambition with each character wanting to excel. Miss Havisham is representing the improved, ambitious character who made it to riches, whilst still remaining under secrecy- another idea consistently seen in the novel. Another instance of secrecy was when Pip snuck out of home to bring food and drink to the convict.

The theme social class and class struggle is present in Pip's new mindset. He's come to a realization on the fact that he is more of a common-folk after viewing from the perspective of Miss Havisham is present. The tone is very negligent and negative. Pip feels less enthusiastic then usual and this is from the new realization. He is a part of the working class, which is considered lower, and he finally understands this. He is thinking about all of the hints to this newfound truth.

“’This’, said she, pointing to the long table with her stick, 'is where I will be laid when I am dead. They shall come and look at me here.'

With some vague misgiving that she might get upon the table then and there and die at once, the complete realization of the ghastly waxwork at the Fair, I shrank under her touch.

'What do you think that is?' she asked me, again pointing with her stick; 'that, where those cobwebs are?'

'I can't guess what it is ma'am.'

'It's a great cake. A bride-cake. Mine!'

She looked all around the room in a glaring manor, and then said, leaning on me while her hand twitched my shoulder, 'Come, come, come! Walk me, walk me!'" (Ch. 11: 85)

"And sometimes, when her moods were so many and so contradictory of one another that I was puzzled what to say or do, Miss Havisham would embrace her with lavish fondness, murmuring something in her ear that sounded like "Break their hearts my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy." (Ch. 11: 91)

This passage conveys irony and has the tone of despair. We see this through how nervous and twitchy Havisham is discussing her past experiences. Her broken marriage still traumatizes her, which I find very ironic considering all Pip has is true love and friendship, but wants wealth. And, all Havisham has is wealth, but strives for a glimpse of true love. It bothers her that she never found true love and there is a dreary tone.  She can't even get over this enough to get rid of her old wedding cake. She wants to die here alone, with the cake representing the love that could've been, and this shows her diction and how it portrays how much she truly needs love.

Ironically, in response to Havisham's previous troubles with love, and cancelled marriage, it seems she's vengeful and has a vengeful, passionate tone, since she doesn't want Pip to experience love. Since she didn't get her marriage and had her heart broken, so her tone is vengeful in the fact that she wants Pip's heart broken by Estella in order for him not to receive love just like her. This is ironic since she is trying to reenact what happened to her and her ex-lover with Pip and Estella.

“But, I felt that the kiss was given to the coarse common boys as a piece of money might have been, and that it was worth nothing” (Ch. 12: 93)


"Whatever I acquired, I tried to impart to Joe. This statement sounds so well, that I can't in my conscience let it pass unexplained. I wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common, that he might be worthier of my society and less open to Estella's reproach." (Ch. 15: 109)



“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." (Ch. 15: 110)

Though Pip had had a "crush" on Estella, this kiss didn't feel real and make him feel exhilarated. His tone seems disappointed since this moment he would've been so excited for, means practically nothing. He felt that it was basically a form of payment, which would be nice considering he's of lower class, but it had no value. Just a kiss. This connects to social class as well with the comparison. This makes me ask how true this love for Estella that Pip has truly is?


This shows Pip's concerning tone for his appearance from others. He wants to educate and make Joe seem more intelligent to get away from the truth of lower social ranking, and class struggle since he is obsessed with being of gentility. It's also concerning for Joe since he wants him to appear better to Havisham and Estella. This shows the class division and lack of education given to those of the working class in comparison to the higher class. This goes along with Pip's common theme for a strive towards reaching gentility and being a gentleman.

This is a very intriguing comparison as this nature and sailing vessels in their strange and picturesque being. He sees them both as so consistent and great. He wanted to be a gentlemen so bad and admired their social ranking and greatness. He admires these vessels and feels exactly the same way.

“So unchanging was the dull old house, the yellow light in the darkened room, the faded spectre in the chair by the dressing-table glass, that I felt as if the stopping of the clocks had stopped Time in that mysterious place, and, while I and everything else outside it grew older, it stood still."  (Ch. 17: 125)

" When I awoke, I was much surprised to find Joe sitting beside me, smoking his pipe. He greeted me 

with a cheerful smile on my opening my eyes, and said:

 `As being the last time, Pip, I thought I'd foller.'

`And Joe, I am very glad you did so.'   `Thankee, Pip.'

`You may be sure, dear Joe,' I went on, after we had shaken hands, `that I shall never forget you.'

 `No, no, Pip!' said Joe, in a comfortable tone, `I'm sure of that. Ay, ay, old chap! Bless you, it were only necessary to get it well round in a man's mind, to be certain on it. But it took a bit of time to get it well round, the change come so oncommon plump; didn't it?'” (Ch. 19: 147-48)

“Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man’s a blacksmith, and one’s a whitesmith, and one’s a goldsmith, and one’s a coppersmith. Divisions among such must come, and must be met as they come.” (Ch. 27: 224)

"The marriage day was fixed, the wedding dresses were bought, the wedding tour was planned out, and the wedding guests were invited. The day came, but not the bridegroom. He wrote her a letter—"

"Which she received," I struck in, "when she was dressing for her marriage? At twenty minutes to nine?"

"At the hour and minute," said Herbert, nodding, "at which she afterwards stopped all the clocks." (Ch. 22: 182)

He replied, “A capitalist—an Insurer of Ships.” I suppose he saw me glancing about the room in search of some tokens of Shipping, or capital, for he added, “In the City.”

I had grand ideas of the wealth and importance of Insurers of Ships in the City, and I began to think with awe, of having laid a young Insurer on his back, blackened his enterprising eye, and cut his responsible head open. But, again, there came upon me, for my relief, that odd impression that Herbert Pocket would never be very successful or rich. (Ch. 22: 183)

“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.’" (Ch. 28: 228-229)

“I have not bestowed my tenderness anywhere. I never had such a thing” (Ch. 29: 244)

“However, this is not London talk. Where do you think I am going to?” (Ch. 32: 253)

“I consumed the whole time in thinking how strange it was that I should be encompassed by all this taint of prison and crime; that, in my childhood out on our lonely marshes on a winter evening I should have first encountered it; that, it should have reappeared on two occasions, starting out like a stain that was faded but not gone; that, it should in this new way pervade my fortune and advancement.” (Ch. 33: 269)

“We spent as much money as we could, and got as little for it as people could make up their minds to give us. We were always more or less miserable, and most of our acquaintance were in the same condition. There was a gay fiction among us that we were constantly enjoying ourselves, and a skeleton truth that we never did. To the best of my belief, our case was in the last aspect a rather common one.” (Ch. 34: 287)

“It was fine summer weather again, and, as I walked along, the times when I was a little helpless creature, and my sister did not spare me, vividly returned. But they returned with a gentle tone upon them that softened even the edge of Tickler. For now, the very breath of the beans and clover whispered to my heart that the day must come when it would be well for my memory that others walking in the sunshine should be softened as they thought of me.” (Ch. 35: 278)

“But, sharpest and deepest pain of all,--it was for the convict, guilty of I knew not what crimes, and liable to be taken out of those rooms where I sat thinking, and hanged at the Old Bailey door, that I had deserted Joe.” (Ch. 39: 311)

"Do you want me then," said Estella, turning suddenly with a fixed and serious, if not angry, look, "to deceive and entrap you?" (Ch. 39: 322 )

“Herbert received me with open arms, and I had never felt before, so blessedly, what it is to have a friend. When he had spoken some sound words of sympathy and encouragement, we sat down to consider the question, What was to be done?” (Ch. 41: 348)

This shows the character of Miss Havisham being fully present with characteristics of her home: The Satis House. It seems like after her broken marriage, Miss Havisham lost character and presence/care of things. Her home is stuck in the time of her marriage and hasn't changed since. This gloomy tone shows us the theme of negligence to forget the past. Her home is stuck in time, since she cannot get over the past and her lack of love or communion.

This also shows class struggle in Joe's lack of proper grammar, unintelligent vocabulary/speaking ability. This shows the lack of education and a contrast in classes, which Pip is bothered about leading to his aid given to help Joe seem more intelligent. However, it still reminds us of the special bond and friendship they have. From the beginning, we see the bond and connection they have with each other in their communication.    

Joe and Pip are falling apart and that once so close relation, keeps fading away, more each time. As Pip becomes gentile, the social divide by class becomes more prevalent with Joe’s contrasting lifestyle. Gentleman are not meant to be with working class. The tone is very melancholy as Joe is separating himself out of his “old chap’s” life, though he may not want to.

This makes the story of Miss Havisham clear about her past failed marriage. Everything was prepared, but at the last possible moment, she was left at the altar, and the clocks stopped at 8:40. And, time completely stopped. This kind of shows the death of Havisham’s happiness. She never experienced that ultimate happiness and just like her home, she is now gloomy, old, and acts vengeful whenever she tells Estella to “break hearts”. This is also ironic because Pip, who ultimately had happiness with friendship and happiness, wants to become a gentleman and like Havisham, yet Havisham lacks the one thing he has.

This shows the importance of wealth in both Pip and Herbert’s life, as it is what both their ultimate goals in life are. Success and wealth is at the top of their lists, which shows their true characters. Pip seems to only be concerned with his own wealth and lacks quality of a true friend, when stating that Herbert lack what it takes to be rich.  As for Herbert, his characterization is similar to that of a romantic. He is dreaming about future wealth and his occupation. Pip’s characterization is based upon his selfish goals for wealth and lack of belief in Herbert. This is seen through the diction in both descriptions of future goals and dreams stated.

Estella is explaining how she’s not felt true love to this point. There’s never been a time where she felt that sensation. Although Pip shows love and affection for her, she still continues to push him off. All those luxuries and riches she receives, and being told to “break hearts” by Havisham, distracts her from the true love that she never experiences or pushes away.

With the divisions of the world being so diverse and different, when not in London and at Walworth, Wemmick feels as if he cannot speak about personal life. It’s like he doesn’t even have one. This shows a similarity between he and Pip, who both are completely different people when in London; the city has effected them both. The theme of doubles in present, when showing these different personas worn by characters in their lives while away from home.

Pip continues this common occurrence in helping people commit crimes or actions against the law. In the past, we saw this when helping a convict make his escape from prison and steals food for him. He is “tainted” because of these actions of his. Though his past actions against the law had occurred so long ago, Pip can’t help but feel like it’ll come back to bite him. It is “Faded but not gone”, which means that he may have forgotten it or it’s been such a long time, but it still happened and can have future effects on him. This makes Pip ponder and makes him very nervous.

Pip and Herbert have spent so much money, yet haven’t gotten much back for it. Things weren’t as great as they made it seem.  Inside, their materialism got the best of them and distracted them from impending financial troubles. Also, they put on the persona of being happy, even when miserable.  They made it seem like they were always happy no matter how down they truly were. Now, although there is an extensive amount of wealth, they still aren’t truly happy. Wealth alone doesn’t make him happy, which alludes back to Havisham.

Here, we see a maturing Pip. Materialism, wealth, and gentility are not present whatsoever within this dream of Pip’s.  All he’s really dreaming about now, is to be known well and die happy. He wants to be remembered well by friends and family. He’s beginning to come to realism and getting his priorities straight.

The strongest pain that Pip is feeling; greater than anything, is that of the guilt he feels for the actions he took in aiding the convict. Also, he feels guilty for “kicking” Joe out of his London apartment and being rude with him. These acts torment his mind when looking back on them. This shows the innocence of Pip being present, similar to the beginning of the book until he lost it due to materialism. Pip is regretting choices and wishes he could take back these controversial deeds. The guilt bothers him so much.

This makes us ponder on Estella’s true character and how if we look back, Estella hasn’t lied or been dishonest. She just has been cold and naughty her whole life under Havisham. Estella is now sharing a longing for Pip, without the deceit and entrapping commonly present.

Pip is finally experiencing a true friendship with Herbert. Although he may not deserve it and has never experienced it, it is a beautiful thing that he learns what it feels like and is grateful for it. We know this because of the diction used describing how “blessedly” h was to feel this. Through thick and thin, and no matter how undeserving Pip is, Herbert will always be there and he is always ready to help. For all this, Herbert asks for nothing, but gives Pip everything and happiness in a best friend. Eventually, he is paid back by Pip with the help and partnership provided in the future. Herbert’s like a friend oasis who is always going to be there for Pip.



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