Do you guys have any commentary for this quote? light vs darkness“The rush of the daylight quite confounded me, and made me feel as if I had been in the candlelight of the strange room many...

Do you guys have any commentary for this quote? light vs darkness

“The rush of the daylight quite confounded me, and made me feel as if I had been in the candlelight of the strange room many hours.”(177). Do you guys have any commentary for this quote?

 

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I followed the candle down, as I had followed the candle up, and she stood it in the place where we had found it. Until she opened the side entrance, I had fancied, without thinking about it, that it must necessarily be night-time. The rush of the daylight quite confounded me, and made me feel as if I had been in the candlelight of the strange room many hours.

In Chapter VIII, Pip has returned to the courtyard of Satis House after his very first visit.  Having followed Estella, who lights the dark passageway "like a star" Pip has been made to play cards with the beautiful young girl. In such a strange, dark house with such a strange woman as Miss Havisham and having been subjected to Estella's insults, Pip has felt as though he has been in the room until dark. The bizarreness of his experiences of seeing the recluse in a faded bridal dress and the startling, but insulting young beauty, Pip is disorientated when led out to the courtyard.

The light/dark imagery suggests the ominousness of Pip's encounter with Estella and Miss Havisham.  While Pip perceives Estella as luminous, a star, she lives in dark rooms from which life and time have been prohibited.  Hers, as well as Miss Havisham's, life is one of distortion and it will surely affect Pip. 

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Think of everything relating to Miss Havisham as misdirection. When Pip is with her, he gets disoriented. The disorientation associated with her continues throughout the book. To me, this quote is one of the hints to the reader of this confusion, using sunlight to directly confuse.
accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

We can also link this quote to the way that Pip's relationship with Havisham is associated with blindness and obscured sight. He spends most of the novel believing, falsely, that she is his mystery benefactor, when all the time he is just being cruelly used by her for her own ends.

vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This quotation comes from Chapter 8 and refers to Pip coming into the daylight after having spent time with Miss Havisham, one of the figuratively "dark" characters of the book.  In a sense this sentence epitomizes one of the main plot lines of the novel, since Pip will eventually be free entirely of Miss Havisham's oppressive, confining influence.

belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Another analysis is that the candlelight is in some way different from actual daylight; it could be that the candlelightis inferior, dimmer, and representative of a false belief or truth, while daylight, being stronger and more clear represents a truer belief or truth.

missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Light generally stands for purity, revelation, innocence or goodness. Darkness obviously would be the opposites, but most generally evil. Take a look at the context surrounding this quote. Is Pip experiencing a new revelation? Is his innocence glowing throughout the scene? What could the light be saying? in Great Expectations, that page reference sounds about where Pip meets the Pocket family in Miss Havisham's home and begins to put a connection together that they are related. For me this would be a revelation. Pip is beginning to put pieces of a puzzle together that will indeed come full circle by the end of the book.

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