iRead: (10) Great Expectations.

N oSource: Google images.

I’m happy that my first encounter with this book was years after high school, for most of the teens I know seem to have tossed the book away, unaware of the literary treasures lying in underneath its words.

Although its narrative, by shallow inspection, isn’t the most engaging, the plot structure is probably one of the richest and the deepest I have ever explored. I can never say the story was boring, because I often was driven to consider different possibilities. And though some twists were solemnly based on mere coincidences, Dickens succeeded in keeping me guessing until the very end.

The themes are timeless; you don’t need to live in the Victorian era to conclude that everybody has a little Pip lingering inside them in varying degrees, longing for a more fortunate life and seeking affection, and a better social class. When it comes to symbols, I find using the “misty marshes” and the “Satis House” very brilliant. You can easily find that each character, symbolized something crucial as well.

Worthy to mention, I felt at many points how pathetic Pip’s fondness of Estella was, for instance when he says:

“Whatever her tone with me happened to be, I could put no trust in it, and build no hope on it; and yet I went on against trust and against hope.”
Also:
“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!”
 ***
And finally, as a personal criterion of how touching a story is, I spent the last four chapters weeping. Yes, this is how I know a book deserves 5 stars.
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6 thoughts on “iRead: (10) Great Expectations.

  1. I’ve found many of the classics I was forced to read in school were actually much better when some teacher was trying to drill their interpretation of the book into my head. Great Expectations is the perfect example of that.

    I still hate A Tale of Two Cities though…

  2. I had a similar reaction to Pride and Prejudice. I only read it for the first time last year and loved it. There is something about the language and the portrayal that resonates in a way that more current books do not.

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