Sunday, September 26, 2010

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

This book was almost exactly opposite for me from A Tale of Two Cities  I ended up liking A Tale of Two Cities so much that I was excited to get into another one of his books.  But where I battled with the first two thirds of Two Cities and ended up loving it and seeing the genius at the end, I loved the first two thirds of Great Expectations and battled through the end. 

Really Mr. Dickens?  You couldn't have possibly made it so Pip could have got a hold of a little of his benefactor’s cash somehow?  I was hoping for some sort of "and upon returning to his room he noticed a small package under the bed that he hadn't noticed before..."  But no!  He is just poor and works for a while and finally ends up with Estella that has nothing going for her but looks, and those are basically gone by then, and for some reason, even though the whole book is put in the past tense, this last coming together is left basically at “and thus they lived, melancholy ever after…”

And I'll tell you who needs to read this book.  Anyone who says anything about how the world is getting vainer and that all that matters now is looks.  This book pretty much shows that attitude has been around for a long, long time.  I did find it fascinating that in my previous Dickens read we see the power of love, where in this book you can put your love in a sack and sink to the bottom of a river for all it will get you.

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