Great Expectations Essential Quotes by Theme: False Expectations

Charles Dickens

Essential Quotes by Theme: False Expectations

Essential Passage 1: Chapter 14

It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home. There may be black ingratitude in the thing, and the punishment may be retributive and well deserved; but that it is a miserable thing, I can testify.
Home had never been a very pleasant place to me, because of my sister’s temper. But Joe had sanctified it, and I believed in it. I had believed in the best parlour as a most elegant saloon; I had believed in the front door as a mysterious portal of the Temple of State, whose solemn opening was attended with a sacrifice of roast fowls; I had believed in the kitchen as a chaste though not magnificent apartment; I had believed in the forge as the flowing road to manhood and independence. Within a single year all this was changed. Now it was all coarse and common, and I would not have had Miss Havisham and Estella see it on any account.
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. Well or ill done, excusably or inexcusably, it was done.


After a year of visiting Miss Havisham’s home, being exposed to the higher class life, and especially to the snobbery of Estella, Pip has come to have different expectations of what his life should be like. He feels he is born for greater things than being a poor, “common” boy. Estella’s contempt for his laboring class lifestyle had colored his vision. When Miss Havisham provides the funding for his apprenticeship to Joe in the blacksmithing trade, Pip inwardly views it with the same contempt that Estella does. As much as he loves Joe, he decides that he no longer wants to be like him. His home,...

(The entire section is 1538 words.)