Sunday, December 13, 2009

Great Expectations

While some classic literature authors tend to scare me away with their large words and confusing 'old' sayings Charles Dickens is one that doesn't necessarily freak me out... he just takes me ages to read his work.


I read it easily enough, I understand what's going on, but his books are just so long! So of course, it takes me forever to finish them.

When I picked up Great Expectations I wasn't so sure what to expect. Many of my friends gasped at the idea of me reading it and quickly told me how much they despised reading the book in school. I had never had to read this book in school so it was a complete mystery to me. All I knew was that my friends had hated it.

I wasn't so sure what to take of that though.... I've discovered for myself that the majority of books I was forced to read in school I hated but if read outside of school- by my own choice- I love them.

Well, I certainly enjoyed Great Expectations! Although the main character, Pip, annoyed me at times I think it's because he had many a fault and they were all very normal faults of any person. I truly enjoyed his original home life friends- Joe and Biddy- and adored reading about them. Therefore, when Pip moved away I became slightly bored.

Miss Havisham was an annoying twit to me. She bothered me so greatly and granted... I can see her characteristics living through real people today... she still bothered me just as much as any real person who would hate on men for being stood up at her wedding would. I think it also annoyed and weirded me out that this woman remained in her wedding dress and didn't change a thing in the home after that fateful wedding day. That's a reaction I would expect from a character who is heartbroken and waiting for her loves return... not so much from a character who has proclaimed her hatred of men and her determination to make them suffer.

Estella is equally annoying... I really liked the character Biddy much more. When Pip began to ignore Joe and Biddy I was sad, when he returned home with the expectation that he'd marry Biddy it annoyed me. Maybe, that's because I'm a bit of a feminist and I really hate when men expect women to wait for them after the men treat them horribly. Who knows.

The tale was certainly captivating- although very long- and I was glad that Joe and Biddy seemed happy towards the end of the novel. The assumption that Estella and Pip will also be happy annoys me though... I hate being left to wonder what happens after a story. And with this, although Pip assumes that he and Estella will never part again, it doesn't scream as a definite answer. Therefore... I wonder if it really did happen (as if these were real people!).

The twists and turns and connections between the characters is always a thrill. There are always those 'oohh!' moments which I enjoy and think help a novel along in becoming good. But really, Charles Dickens doesn't need all that much help in writing a good novel. I always enjoy how much of his subject matter can resemble the subject matter of the current age.


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