Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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What are some quotes about Startop?

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In Great Expectations, Startop is a friend to the protagonist, Pip. He helps Pip at several key moments in the story. Together with another of Pip's friends, Herbert, he saves Pip after Pip's fight with Orlick. At the end of the novel, he helps Pip and Magwitch escape. Startop is a loyal friend to Pip. He is also trustworthy, thoughtful, and good-natured.

The first time we meet Startop, in chapter 23, he is "reading and holding his head, as if he thought himself in danger of exploding it with too strong a charge of knowledge." This quotation implies that Startop is a studious, thoughtful young man. The comical image of Startop holding his head as if it might explode with a sudden surge of knowledge further implies that while he may be thoughtful and keen to learn, he does not necessarily possess an easy, natural intelligence.

In chapter 25 we are told that Startop "had been spoilt by a weak mother and kept at home when he ought to have been at school" and that he was "devotedly attached to her, and admired her beyond measure." These quotations allude to Startop's fundamentally good nature. He is a devoted son. The first quotation also offers an explanation as to why intelligence does not come naturally or easily to Startop. His mother, although perhaps well-intentioned, hindered his education by keeping him at home when he was a child.

In chapter 54, Startop and Herbert try to help Pip and Magwitch escape. Dickens writes that Startop and Herbert, despite difficult conditions, "persevered, and rowed and rowed and rowed until the sun went down." From this quotation we can infer that Startop is indeed a very good and loyal friend to Pip. He puts himself in danger here and demonstrates commendable perseverance (emphasized by the repetition of the word "rowed") all for the sake of Pip.

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