With explanation, what are four memorable quotations from Chapters 1-18 of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 14 of Dicken's Great Expectations, Pip returns to Joe's house and is surprised by what he sees and, in retrospect, is also ashamed of this reaction. At the time of his return, he saw the house with new eyes and said he would not have Miss Havisham or Estella see it for any inducement:

Now it was all coarse and common, and I would not have had Miss Havisham and Estella see it on any account.

The grown narrator then wonders how much of the blame for his mean and petty attitude was his own fault. Since it was done and irretrievable from Time past, he acknowledges it to be of no importance in the present. Here he taps one of the themes, which is the question of fault and blame. [He returns to this in the resolution and suggests a right perspective when he suspects he and Estella will never more part.]

How much of my ungracious condition of mind may have been my own fault how much Miss Havisham’s how much my sister’s, is now of no moment to me or to any one. The change was made in me; the thing was done.

At the end of Chapter XVIII, Pip is overpowered by his status as a "gentleman of expectations" and his projected fortune. He goes to bed with the "light wreaths from Joe's pipe floating" past the window. The last statement Pip makes as the narrator of his own life foreshadows the uneasiness and disappointment his young life will produce until his final meeting with Estella:

I put my light out, and crept into bed; and it was an uneasy bed now, and I never slept the old sound sleep in it any more.

With that, however, is also foretold the redemptive role Joe's life--and his life with Biddy--will play in Pip's final expectation, an expectation of good, comfort, and easiness when Miss Havisham's spell is finally broken.

Looking towards the open window, I saw light wreaths from Joe's pipe floating there, and I fancied it was like a blessing from Joe,—not obtruded on me or paraded before me, but pervading the air we shared together.

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Great Expectations

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