Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Drop Caps Challenge: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens



It took me long enough (a good six months) to make my way through this one.  I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time I read it the summer before tenth grade, but it just took me forever to make my way through it.

Image result for penguin drop caps d
D is for Dickens. The orphan Pip is destined to become a blacksmith like his brother-in-law Joe. But when Pip meets the beautiful Estella Havisham, he yearns for a gentleman’s education in order to woo her. A mysterious legacy answers his ambition, and changes the course of his life, taking him far from the Marshes of youth—far, so he thinks, from his early terrifying encounter with an escaped convict, and his sister’s class resentments. In this fictional autobiography, Pip’s coming-of-age story becomes representative of the changing social landscape of nineteenth century England. As Pip’s education provides upward social mobility, he must also learn hard lessons about self-delusion and forgiveness, love and loss, and the true nature of his Great Expectations. 
Writing
I really, really love me some Dickens.  He writes the best, most detailed characters (and tons of them).  Really the plot of this was secondary to me in comparison to all of the delightful and exquisitely nuanced characters that we get to meet.  It was also fun to compare it to how I felt about it as a teenager - my feelings about Pip and his treatment of Joe were so much stronger this time around.

Entertainment Value
Ok, so it DID take me six months to read this.  I'm not sure that I could really call it a page turner, but that doesn't mean I wasn't enjoying the experience or found it less than entertaining.  The size is intimidating, but I thoroughly enjoyed taking myself through it at a leisurely pace and really feeling like I got involved in the characters and their personalities.

Overall
One of my favorite choices for the collection so far.  I loved it as much this time as I did when I read it in high school and I feel like I got some things from it that I missed when reading it at a younger age.  I highly recommend giving this one a try if you're looking to get into classics and you enjoy books with richly drawn characters.

2 comments:

  1. My friends and I were slightly obsessed with Miss Havisham when we read this in middle school. Honestly I think this book is a terrible choice for that age (about 12 or so), but our teacher did a valiant job of trying to get us interested.

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    Replies
    1. Middle school does seem very young to read Great Expectations! It's a hard book!

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