vrijdag 21 augustus 2015

Charles Dickens: Great Expectations


Great Expectations is (I believe) my father’s favorite novel by Charles Dickens.
The novel has 554 pages and 17 pages on Dickens by George Bernard Shaw at the end.
I am collecting these novels in the beautiful Penguin Classics Editions and this is certainly one of my favorite covers.
You can find all my Charles Dickens reviews here.

“In what may be Dickens's best novel, humble, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman — and one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of "great expectations." In this gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward, the compelling characters include Magwitch, the fearful and fearsome convict; Estella, whose beauty is excelled only by her haughtiness; and the embittered Miss Havisham, an eccentric jilted bride.”

The first 180 pages were very boring in my opinion.
After that it really picks up and it’s much easier to read. The story gets really gripping, especially towards the end.
The story is full of beautiful, beautiful prose, rich details and vibrant descriptions.
I loved John Wemmick and Miss Skiffins but I could get so angry at Pip for being so haughty and thankless! And Joe for being such a pushover.

Thanks to the essay by George Bernard Shaw I’m not ‘mad’ anymore about the stupid, perfect ending because it was meant to be differently. “It is too serious a book to be a trivially happy one. Its beginning is unhappy; its middle is unhappy; and the conventional happy ending is an outrage on it.”
I just wish Dickens had written it differently. 

The novel clearly reminds us that expectations of the future and the reality can be very different and you should manage your expectations. When a promise or expectation is not fulfilled life gets very disappointing.

Happy reading.