Great Expectations: One of the most famous classics by one of the greatest novelist Charles Dickens. Still it turned out to be just-another-novel for me! The book had all the emotions – love, romance, surprise, revenge but never got me much interested and maybe that’s why I took more than expected to finish it.
It’s a tale of an orphan Philip Pirip who is raised by his sister and her blacksmith husband Joe. Not very happy with his status and family, Pip has great expectations from life and aspires to be a gentleman. Miss (cold-hearted) Havinsham (one of the weird characters!!) invites Pip to play with her adopted (beautiful) daughter Estella. Pip falls in love with her at first sight and he now certainly wants to be a gentleman and win her.
Suddenly, Pip gets a fortune from a secret benefactor and moves to London. Miss Havinsham keeps on arranging meetings between Eatella and Pip and Estella always look down upon him. Pip ignores everyone who loves and values him for Estella. Pip’s benefactor turns out to be Magwitch, a convict whom Pip had helped years ago in his childhood. Pip also discovers he is Estella’s father. Pip never gets Estella who later marries his friend. After all the confusion and revelations, Pip looses his fortune and tries to go back to childhood friend Biddy, but Alas she has already married Joe. All in all, his so-called Expectations lead him nowhere.
I felt there was too much of a stretch everywhere in the book which was a turn-off for me. Dry sense of humour and bunch of weirdly interesting characters was not enough to make it work. Still, there were some great lines in the book where author has played beautifully with words! I have read Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens twice long ago and still want to read it once more ( more because want to write about it 🙂 ). But Great Expectations did certainly not fulfil my expectations and I won’t dare pick up another classic for sometime atleast!
Few lines from the book:
“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.”
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
“So throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.”
“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 graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with.”