Was there ever a novelist who created more memorable characters than Dickens?
Great Expectations is my favourite novel Dickens wrote. I first read it in high school and have recently read it again. I remember it got criticized for being too dark, apparently Dickens’ wrote it when he was in a depressed state of mind. I however think it is inspirational. For me it is about wanting to achieve greatness despite everything seeming to be beyond one’s reach. That’s my simple interpretation.
It is written in first-person which helps illustrate the protagonist’s coming of age, it follows Pip from orphan boy to gentleman. Pip is being brought up by his sister and her husband but this isn’t a loving family arrangement and he is sent to live with the rich Miss Harisham, an intriguing and somewhat crazy woman. Also living with Miss Harisham is Estella, a beautiful young girl who is being taught by Miss Harisham to use her beauty to torment the men around her. After a while Pip falls in love with Estella but Estella does show any desire for his affections. When Pip is offered an education inLondonhe eagerly accepts as he sees this as the opportunity he yearns for to become a man of means and worthy of Estella’s love. Once inLondonhe soon starts to look down upon his humble upbringing & when he learns that Estella has married he is both angered and saddened. He also finds out that the money for his education came from the dishonest earnings of a convict he once helped escape years earlier. This sends Pip into despair but it does help him understand the true value of life.
It really is a classic and if you have not read it you should. If you have read it I strongly encourage you to give it another read as you will probably get allot more out if it the second time around.