Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Read August 2010

This is not exhaustive or literary; it’s a simple, quick rehash of off-the-cuff observations, something to memorialize my  reading, a mile post in my literary progress.

I had a hard time persevering with this book. By about half way through, though, I was interested in the plot. I had a hard time wading past the language and idioms, a hard time relating to the characters. It was sufficiently foreign, that I could not put myself in the place of the people.

I did appreciate the appeal to simplicity and loyalty, the forge and Joe’s warmth vs. the grime and duplicity of London and other characters like Pumblechook; I grieved for Miss Havisham’s bitterness; I could not fathom a little girl being broken of natural affection as Estella was; the boy-fight in the brickyard was beyond my grasp- I couldn’t imagine boys doing this.

I saw the self-destructive nature of Miss Havisham’s resentment, and equated it with that I’ve seen in a few acquaintances over the years. It’s a moral warning for me. It was satisfying to have her redeemed at the end.

When the note read “Don’t Go Home”, I was hooked on the plot.

Reading on Kindle, it’s nice having definitions so readily available. Putting the cursor in front of a word brings up a definition. But note-keeping in the margins is better than the note keeping in Kindle. So I notated not at all. I feel poorer.

I couldn’t tell the extent of Estella and Pip’s warmth at the end.

I’m not a plot expert. I used Sparks Notes to help confirm plot elements as they occurred and at the end of reading.

Some of the humorous descriptions tickled me.

Dickens seems both moralistic and nuanced.


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