Here are examples of some of the most famous quotes from Dickens' Great Expectations (1861). These will help you gain a deeper understanding of this complex and sophisticated story by one of Britain's greatest writers.
"I was always treated as if I had insisted on being born in opposition to the dictates of reason, religion, and morality, and against the arguments of my best friends." Chapter 4
"We were equals afterwards, as we had been before; but, afterwards at quiet times when I sat looking at Joe and thinking about him, I had a new sensation of feeling conscious that I was looking up to Joe in my heart." Chapter 7
"In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice." Chapter 8
"If you can't get to be oncommon through going straight, you'll never get to do it through going crooked." Chapter 9
" . . . think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day." Chapter 9
"There have been occasions in my later life (I suppose as in most lives) when I have felt for a time as if a thick curtain had fallen on all its interest and romance, to shut me out from anything save dull endurance any more. Never has that curtain dropped so heavy and blank, as when my way in life lay stretched out straight before me through the newly-entered road of apprenticeship to Joe." Chapter 14
" . . . what would it signify to me, being coarse and common, if nobody had told me so!" Chapter 17
" . . . it [felt] very sorrowful and strange that this first night of my bright fortunes should be the loneliest I had ever known." Chapter 18
"Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before--more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle." Chapter 19
" . . . no man who was not a true gentleman at heart, ever was, since the world began, a true gentleman in manner . . . no varnish can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself." Chapter 22
" . . . 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." Chapter 27
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