This is my 11th post for the 2015 Classics Challenge, but you can now join the 2016 challenge!
“I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”
Great Expectations is Dickens’ funny, frightening and tender portrayal of the orphan Pip’s journey of self-discovery. Showing how a young man’s life is transformed by a mysterious series of events – an encounter with an escaped prisoner; a visit to a black-hearted old woman and a beautiful girl; a fortune from a secret donor – Dickens’ late novel is a masterpiece of psychological and moral truth, and Pip among his greatest creations.
WHEN I Discovered This Classic
Great Expectations is another one of those classic novels that I feel I’ve always know about. But I didn’t really feel the need to read the book until I watched the 2011 BBC miniseries and really enjoyed it. I adored the story and vowed to pick up the novel soon(ish)!
WHY I Chose to Read It
I haven’t read Dickens since I studied A Christmas Carol in school and Great Expectations had been on my list since the 2012 Classics Challenge – it was about time!
WHAT Makes It A Classic
It’s one of the most beloved and most famous novels of all time. It’s also Dickens’ most well-known. I didn’t know much about the character Pip, but even before watching the adaptation I was aware of one of its most iconic characters: Miss Havisham – the mysterious older lady in the ruined wedding dress who invites Pip into her mansion.
WHAT I Thought of This Classic
I’ve always been a bit apprehensive about starting Great Expectations, which is why it’s taken me so long to pick it up. I had never see anyone describe Dickens as a ‘quick read’ – and now I know why!
As you may know, I started the classics challenges because I used to be (and still am) quite intimated by classics. I either found them dry and boring or was too nervous to even pick them up in the first place! Even though I didn’t find Great Expectations difficult to read, as I might have thought, I struggled with the writing style. Dickens is known for his descriptive prose whereas I much preferred the dialogue between the characters, especially Pip, Estella and Miss Havisham.
I had great expectations for this classic novel… and unfortunately they were not met. But this won’t stop me from picking up another Dickens and I’ll certainly be returning to the TV adaptations, which work best for me – I enjoy the characters and the story!
WILL It Stay A Classic
I’m sure it will stay a classic as Dickens’ work is still as popular as ever today!
WHO I’d Recommend It To
I’d struggle to recommend it, sadly, especially to those new to classics, but it might be one for those who have very recently watched the adaptation.