Great Expectations

Great Expectations by: Charles Dickens (Signet Classic)

Challenges: My Year of Reading Dangerously, Chunkster Challenge

Published: 1860 (Signet Classic: 1961)

# of pages: 490

Quote: "'Now, I come to the cruel part of the story-merely breaking off, my dear Handel, to remark that a dinner-napkin will not go into a tumbler.'
Why I was trying to pack mine into my tumbler, I am wholly unable to say. I only know that I found myself, with a perseverance worthy of a much better cause, making the most strenuous exertions to compress it within those limits." -Herbert to Pip p. 178-79

Now I can add Great Expectations to the small list of Dickens' books I've read along with Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities. I enjoyed this novel just as much! Dickens, of course, uses beautiful language and a sense of sarcasm and wit in every description. This story strongly reminded me of the tale of the prodigal son in the Bible. Pip longs for more than his simple living arrangements with his sister and brother-in-law, Joe, and when he has the opportunity of "great expectations", immediately leaves for London to live a gentleman's life. The entire story is full of mystery. I guessed a few, but there were a lot of surprises, especially in the last fourth of the book. That kept me hooked, because just as I started getting a little tired and felt like it was about time for something to happen, all of a sudden new plot twists appear and more mysteries crop up and begin to be solved.

I loved several of the characters. I really empathized with Joe and Provis. I couldn't help but like them and wish I could be in the story to talk some sense into Pip in regards to how he treats them! Thankfully, everything works out well in the end, even though differently than I hoped. Herbert is another loveable character and I really enjoyed Mr. Wemmick and Mr. Jaggers. Mr. Wemmick's wedding scene was so funny, maybe someday I'll type it all out on here so you don't have to read the whole book to enjoy it.

There were a lot of classic morals in here. Money doesn't buy happines, outward appearances aren't everything, be careful what you wish for, etc. My copy of the book by Signet Classic has both of the endings Dickens wrote for this novel. Apparently he had written an ending and then changed it just before the initial publication. I liked the second ending better, which is the traditional, typical ending. But it was interesting to read his original ending as well. Overall, I recommend this story for its plot, beautiful wording, and humor, especially if you enjoy other tales by Dickens.

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Andi said...

Hooray! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you'll discuss with us!

javajump said...

I'm also glad that you enjoyed it. Brava! Andrea, can you explain to me how to cross-out words in your page elements? Like you did in for Great Expectations? Thanks, I'm an idiot.

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