Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Great Expectations - Review

Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens

      Pip is a young lad around the age of seven, when we first meet him. He is in the churchyard where he is often likely to be. He is an orphan that was "brought up by hand" by his sister. From the context of this phrase I think it is safe to imply that he was brought up by backhand. I really wonder at the quality of his childhood that he has spent so much time in the churchyard visiting the graves of the parents he cannot remember.

      Miss Havisham is the eccentric rich lady in town. She is bored with her seclusion and asks around for a young boy to come play at her estate. Boy that would raise some red flags in this day and age. Miss Havisham is raising her adopted daughter to be a heartbreaker, literally. Most likely her motives for inviting Pip over is to give Estella a live victim to practice her charms on.

      Time goes by and suddenly Pip is informed that he is to have great expectations to come into property one day. Everyone assumes Miss Haversham is his benefactress. Mr. Jaggers said it best when he told Pip, "Take nothing on its looks; take every thing on evidence. There's no better rule." Unfortunately, he was a little late with this advice.

      I found it sad that after coming into money Pip become quite proud. He is ashamed of his old friend Joe because of his courseness and uneducated ways. He also looks down on other characters who had never been given a chance to live the good life. He does eventually learn to look past unfortunate circumstances.

      This is one of Dickens' easiest reads in my opinion, but take note to pay close attention. There is an example where he compares a man's mouth to a postal letter box. It is wide and closed, only to be opened to receive items. Then continues to refer to this man's expressive mouth merely as "the post" throughout the book, without reffering back to the original comparison for reference. Wonderful story and a must read for any fan of classic literature.

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