Book Title: Great Expectations
Author: Charles Dickens
Published By: Signet Classics
Date Published: February 3, 2009 (first published 1861)
Genre: Classics, Mystery, Fiction
Recommended Age: Young Adults, Adults
I borrowed this book from the library.
Pip is an orphan living with his sister and her kind husband. Pip is hired by Miss. Havisham as a companion for her and her adopted daughter, Estella. During his time with Miss Havisham creates a desire in Pip to rise above his station in life and to become a Gentleman. Pip gets his wish fulfilled when a mysterious benefactor provides him with "great expectations" and the means to be schooled as a gentleman.
I enjoyed the book very much. It was well written and the characters were well developed. Pip was a cute adorable child being raised “by hand” by his mean and abusive sister, who was only known as Mrs. Joe Gargery. It really irked me the way Mrs. Joe Gargery would be verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive to her little brother and her husband. She would even beat them with a device she called The Tickler. What kind of name is “The Tickler” for something used to bring pain to someone? I can only imagine that she got pleasure from dishing out the abuse. I know she enjoyed causing that fight between her husband and their employee.
Pip disappointed me deeply as he settled into the life as a gentleman. He enjoyed the life of leisure and luxury so much that he spent his money foolishly, as if there was no end to it. Pip also turned into a snob and threw away everything he once loved and valued to pursue his own selfish wants. As my mother would say, he “forgot where he came from.” When Pip discovers the identity of his benefactor he is highly disappointed and filled with shame. All he can think about is what Society would think instead of being grateful. I grew to be ashamed of Pip.
As for Mrs. Havisham, I felt sorry for her. I kept thinking if she lived during this time she wouldn’t let one man ruin her life and drive her inside. She would think her the best revenge would be to live her life to fullest and let the man see what a good thing he gave up. Instead she let her run away groom send her down into madness and train her adopted daughter to not to love. She realizes to late the damage she has caused her beloved daughter and the hell she has sentenced her to. It is truly sad.
I also noticed how Charles Dickens used shades of the color Yellow a lot throughout the book, and not in a flattery sense. For example, when he first introduced the color it was to describe Miss. Havisham’s wedding gown. He described it as white-yellow. Dickens did that to show the reader how old the gown was and that it was losing its whiteness. I made the reader actually see how sad Miss Havisham and her environment were. The color Yellow came to represent something old and ugly.
I enjoyed Great Expectations so much I gave it 5 stars and a grade of an A. Charles Dickens did a fantastic job weaving a tale of mystery and morale values. If you enjoy reading the Classics or clean, wholesome stories about morality and human weaknesses, I recommend Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.
Adult Content: None