Charles Dickens is a Victorian author and literary genius known for writing many classics, creating memorable characters, intriguing storylines, and rendering thought-provoking themes and messages in his novels and short stories; to many, he is even considered as one the greatest authors of all time. “Dickensian” is a term used to describe anything that is reminiscent of Dickens or his writings. Dickens is admired for his social criticism, realism, writing style, unique characterizations, linguistic creativity, comedy, and continues to be widely popular today, leaving an incredible legacy behind.
Great Expectations is an 1861 fictional autobiography and bildungsroman novel about a young boy named Philip Pirrip (nicknamed Pip) living in England and the various stages he goes through in his life, the people he encounters, the conflicts he faces, the relationships/friendships he has, and the lessons he learns. Not only does Pip evolve immensely, he also learns to accept himself and the people around him––regardless of their past, social class, wealth, etc. He develops relationships and friendships with people who help him become a better person (e.g. Joe in the beginning, Magwitch in the end). All of the individuals that Pip meets impact him in some way, shape or form, whether it be in a major or minor way. Great Expectations effectively delineates a process of maturation, and self-discovery through experience as Pip transitions from childhood to adulthood.
The main thesis or central theme displayed throughout the novel is that happiness, love, loyalty, family, human affection, and friendship are the important aspects of life, rather than social class or wealth. A prime example of this is how Joe (poor blacksmith) is much happi…
…y will agree or disagree with this statement.
I would definitely recommend this book to my peers; I feel as though this is a book that everyone should read at least once, because not only does it teach a lesson, but it also is quite relevant since many people are experiencing (or will have to in the future) the conundrums, events, tragedies, successes, failures, etc that Pip faces throughout the course of the novel. Although this book is definitely not an easy read, it is definitely worth it in the end. I especially think that those who relished Dickens’s other stories would like this book. “Great Expectations” is an engaging, must-read book that keeps a person thinking even after finishing the book, which certainly shows the substantial impact it leaves on the reader and the “great expectations” they now acquire for future books they’ll read. (Rating: 4.5/5 stars)