Weekend Quote [3]

Weekend QuoteMy Weekend Quote this time is taken from Dickens’ book, Great Expectations, that I’m currently reading. The quote is from the scene where Pip is saying his feelings to Estella, whom he loves ever, and in knowing that she is in prospect to accept the proposal of another gentleman. (I make it into two parts just to give the context of the situation)

“Well? You can break his heart!”

You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since – on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, the the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London’s buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be.

Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you! (p. 415-416)

What I like about this quote is that Dickens beautifully conveys what is called an “ecstasy of unhappiness”. A paradoxical term about a burst-out feeling of a wounded heart, that has been there and felt only inwardly, that is now gushed out, but blended here and there with expressions of love. Aware that from the very beginning she’s been giving to him good as well as harm, he wishes to see just the good ones. Hopeless and adoration at the same time. I can feel his sadness, his love, and his despair, as well as his greatness of soul in wishing only the best for Estella.

All done, all gone! (p.416)

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