This book is a bit complex for those who are starting their journey in classical literature. However, it is a beautiful intricate web woven around social-class, guilt, love, lust. This book is for anyone who wants to sink their teeth into something juicy.
- Pip – protagonist and narrator
- Estelle – Pip’s love interest and Miss Havisham ward.
- Miss Havisham – Man-hater
- Abel Magwitch (The convict) -Pip’s secret Benefactor
- Joe Gargery – Pip’s brother-in-law
- Mrs. Joe – Joe’s wife and Pip’s sister
(This is not a full list of characters. Just those I thought to be most important)
- Social Class
Why read Great Expectations?
Great expectations is a book by Charles Dickens, the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. Most definitely worth a read.
The story opens with the main character Pip, who we meet as a young orphan living with his sister and her husband. Pip is a kind soul.
One day, whilst upon the moors, a convict called Magwitch scares Pip and orders him to get food and a file to saw off his leg irons. Pip obeys. He steals the items from his own home. The convict is captured but surprisingly protects Pip from the law by saying he stole the items himself. (more on this later, it is a key point of the novel)
One day Pip visits Satis House with his Uncle Pumplechook. Here he meets the erratic Miss Havisham. A jilted bride who wears her wedding dress all day and has every clock in the house stopped at the same time. (She’s crazy but definitely the best character in the book) Miss Havisham is raising young Estelle as her ward – she’s teaching her to break men’s hearts. Pip falls hopelessly in love with her and believes that Miss Havisham’s going to teach him how to be a gentleman.
Miss Havisham dashes his hopes after months of visiting Satis House, by deciding to help him become a common laborer. Pip is unhappy because he wants to get an education and better himself.
One day, a lawyer appears telling Pip he’s been given a fortune – Pip think Miss Havisham has finally come through and wishes him to become a gentleman so he can marry Estelle. (remember Magwitch…?)
Pip goes to London and gets his educating, shaking off old ties with family and friends at home. He considers himself above them now.
Read it to find out.
Will Pip every reconcile with his family? Will Estelle and Pip marry? Will Miss Havisham repent for her wickedness? What’s Magwitch doing now?
Follow this link for a cheap version of the book.
You can watch the movie trailer for Great Expectation 2013 version here
“I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a challenge – 3 out of 5 cup rating.
This is part 1 in a series of 5 posts.
Part 2 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Part 3 – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Part 4 – Pride and Prejudice – by Jane Austen
Part 5 – Dracula by Bram Stoker