Great Expectations

Great Expectations is a classic by Charles Dickens, about a young, poor, fellow in 1860s (Victorian) England.  When the main character, “Pip”, was about 8 or so, he was requested by Miss Havisham, a well-off ancient-looking lady whose time froze along with the clocks in her house and her wedding dress she continued to wear, to come and entertain her.  Miss Havisham had a young girl servant about Pip’s age, and she was told to play with Pip.  She wasn’t nice at all but she was very pretty.  When he returned home, Pip would lie his face off about what the games and possessions were used for play and the expensive food he ate, but in reality, he was miserable there and had a modest meal with beer before a carriage took him back.

Pip, was “raised by hand” by his sister, who married a good-natured blacksmith.  By today’s standards, Pip’s sister is abusive, but she was later attacked by an intruder and became a different person – she lost much of her ability to talk, was feeble, and nicer.  After the attack, a cute helper from “school” (where he and Joe, Pip’s brother-in-law learned slowly to read and write) volunteered to be Pip’s sister’s caretaker.  Pip confided in her that he couldn’t get the pretty, mean girl out of his mind, but he also couldn’t get the caretaker’s maturity and wisdom out of his mind, either.  Both girls who were out of his league.

Great Expectations is really great…in size.  I write this because it was a massive book and I didn’t like it.  I barely got half-way through and dragged myself to read it.  I got to the part where Pip’s “great expectations” were to beginning realize.  On his 18th birthday, he got a sum of money from Miss Havisham, acted like he was a big shot as he bought expensive suits, and went to her lawyer for something (the lawyer was out and both Pip and I were waiting in the dark room).  Pip didn’t want to depart from the family he knew, especially leave Joe’s side because they’ve developed a close brotherly relationship, but Joe couldn’t let Pip not take this opportunity to unleash his full potential.

I know people who like it, but it’s not for me.  Feel free to comment on your likes and dislikes about this classic.


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