A classic is a book that had not stopped saying what is wants to, it is said. And Great Expectations is a book that describes what a classic is like no other book. Charles Dickens like ever doesn’t fail in doing that literary magic of his in this thirteenth novel of his. Great Expectations is one of those rare books I read that left me wanting more of them after I am done reading. After reading this book, more than the literary sense, beauty of language, human emotions and the poetic plot, what I got that is going to stay with me for a while is the friendship I made with a boy called Pip. I couldn’t ever understand any person in my life like I did this fictional being, the protagonist in the novel.
This book is a story of a seven year old boy called Pip from suburbs of London and his life till his youth encountering his meetings with many people, departure from a few old, the revival of old relations, emotions, crime, comedy (very little though), wealth and life. Dickens conjures a beautiful story of Pip’s life that the reader will surely connect. This book of his is a treasure trove of wisdom and literature in its truest sense and the more you search, the more you excavate. The story is said in a very surreal way which gives novelty and a recess to the reader from stories from other classics that are explained in a scientific way calculating the emotions mathematically.
Pip is a seven year old orphan raised by his abusive sister who is married to Mr. Joe Gargery, who is a very passionate man and is the closest to young Pip. Dickens takes the reader through various happenings that take place in Pip’s life in an utterly consuming way. Then, a lawyer from London appraises Pip and his sister and Uncle about wealth bestowed upon Pip by a man he couldn’t reveal. This changes Pip’s life entirely and he goes off to London with the lawyer as his guardian. Then a series of stunning things unravel themselves that take the reader to the old world of Pip and back to London and so forth often. His love for a girl Estella he meets in his childhood that fails, his money that gets his into problems ultimately teaching him his mistakes of inadvertent ignorance towards his people of his past, human emotions of love, hate, passion all play their part very effectively in this classic rendering a sterling and splendid hold on the reader throughout.
This is the second novel of Charles Dickens after David Copperfield where he speaks in the first person and not third and he does an indescribably stellar job in going about the thoughts and feelings of young Pip and how they evolve over time as he ages into a young lad and into youth. When looked at this book from distance, we also understand how chaotic life can be and how surprising and shocking the vagaries of our actions and inactions can be. And as to the language of Dickens’, there exists no point in talking about. The following example says it all. “I turned my head aside, for, with a rush and a sweep, like the old marsh winds coming up from the sea, a feeling like that which had subdued me on the morning when I left the forge, when the mists were solemnly rising, and when I laid my hand upon the village finger-post, smote upon my heart again.” Finally, I would end by saying this is a novel that reflects what the beauty of literature in its most actual sense is; literature in its purest and most pristine form. An obvious must read it is.