Friday, February 8, 2013

Great Expectations

I recently finished Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.  I almost never regret reading a classic, they are classics for good reasons.  They have stood the test of time, and they are very well written.  Great Expectations is no exception.  If you've read any Dickens, you will know that you will be reading an older English, you'll meet complex characters that you just might not like very much, but there is often redemption at the last.  You'll also understand a lot of references in other books due to knowing who Pip, Miss Havisham and Estella are!  And even though it was written in 1860, it was so relevant to human nature and character of today that I would forget I wasn't reading the latest New York Times Best Seller.  Certainly, there is nothing new under the sun.

Without giving anything away, I wanted to quote my very favorite paragraph from Great Expectations.  Pip is in love with Estella, a great, all-consuming love, and is sharing his heart here to her.

"You are part of my existence, part of myself.  You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then.  You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since--on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets.  You have been the embodiment of every gracful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with.  The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be.  Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil."~~Pip in Great Expectations, chapter 44

Oh, Pip, you poor, poor boy.

Have you read Great Expectations?  What were your thoughts.  I found out, when I was about half way in, that the high schoolers at our school were reading it, too, and that they were hating it.  They just couldn't like Pip.  I get that, but if you read it and feel the same way, hang in there.  Like I said, there is redemption at the last.

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