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January 31, 2013 Great Expectations Great Expectations (New York: Charles Scribnrs Son, 1901), by Charles Dickens,

is the ongoing story of a youth in England from the years 1812 to 1840. It tells how he surpasses his lifes original plan to ultimately learn that his true happiness was set out before him all along. In Great Expectations, Dickenss wording and dialect, although greatly enriching the story, can make it a bit confusing at times. Another thing I wasnt too fond of was the growing pompous, arrogance of the main character. Despite these two dislikes, something that adds greatly to the story is the intertwining roles of the characters of old and new and the plot twists that are presented to you. With these findings, despite the few negatives, I feel the good greatly outweighed the bad. Great Expectations is narrated by a man named Pip telling the story of his former to present life growing up in England, as well as the hardships that encompassed him during his drastic rise and fall. The story takes place in 1812 and spans over a course of 35 years. It begins by introducing the young Pip, who was orphaned and taken in by his sister, Mrs. Gargery (to be raised by way of the hand) and her gentle, blacksmith husband Joe. In the following years, Pip holds fast to his dreams of bettering his lowly self (derived from meeting the beautiful and wealthy Estella), and takes every measure he can in steps to becoming a proper gentleman for her sake. One day Pips dreams mysteriously come true as a small fortune finds its way into his hands by means of an unnamed benefactor. Over the course of time, Pip finds his social status rising along with his newfound arrogance and desire to wastefully spend, which is steadily amassing into debt. He is forced to reexamine his former dreams of wealth and eventually comes to realize his new, gentlemanly stature does not, in fact, hold the key to his happiness. Throughout Pips life journey he learns the importance of friendship, that money cannot buy love nor will it shield you from its passionate flame, and to never forget where you truly come from. No varnish

can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself. (Dickens 142) Something that made this book slightly difficult to jump right into was the word usage by Dickens. It was not overwhelmingly confusing, yet caused me to reread certain passages a few times to fully grasp a missed concept. Though, once I slowly fell into the rhythm of the story, I was able to appreciate his form of writing and gradually wrap my head around the general concept. Dickenss descriptions, though a bit thick, are vivid and lively and easily put the reader in each and every moment depicted. Another thing that caused much discontent while reading Great Expectations was the extremely believable air of arrogance that the main character displayed during his rise to fame. I caught myself, at times, strongly disliking Pip as he disposed of his older friendships as the wealth gets to his head. From the time the reader meets Pip you feel sorry for his position and wish better for him, yet once he receives these wishes, he becomes the very person that had looked down upon him in the first place. At each downfall following his quick rise, I would find myself thinking each blow was well deserved to put him back in his place. Pip begins to realize this and states, As I had grown accustomed to my expectations, I had insensibly begun to notice their effect upon myself and those around me. Their influence on my own character I disguised from my recognition as much as possible, but I knew very well that it was not all good. (215) With this being said, I dont think that Pips character would result the same at the end of the book without having learnt of this type of humility, and was a disappointing yet necessary part of his characters growth. There is nothing better than reading along to abruptly discover a characters ulterior motive or new role in the story. Great Expectations is filled with twists and turns that actively engage the reader to come up with numerous speculations as to where the story will go. Among a few plot twists that occur include the discovery of Pips benefactor, the truth of Gargerys attack, the winding story of Mrs.

Havisham, as well as Estellas ancestry. The story intertwines the characters and reveals to you connections that you would never expect. Great Expectations is definitely an interesting story. It may start off slow and take a moment to get into but once youve begun you cant find yourself putting it down. With undertones of friendship and love woven into a plot of wealth and power, the story grasps our attention from numerous angles. After following Pip along his ups and down, and loving and hating him, you ultimately feel a sense of pride as he transforms before you, as hoped, into a character of great expectations.

Citations Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Vol. 13. New York: Charles Scribnr's Sons, 1901. Print.