Great Expectations: Final Thoughts

22 01 2008

I finished Great Expectations over a week ago, but time (once again) has got away from me. I’m finding it hard to even know what to say about the book as I’ve finished two more in the meantime and I gave back my borrowed copy so I can’t refresh my final impressions of the book.

There was nothing about the final part of the novel that I found overly surprising, and I did find that Pip redeemed himself to some extent. The ending I found something of a puzzle when I first read it, particularly because I was never sure throughout whether I was in favour of Pip and Estella ever ending up together. But I think I preferred the revised ending (my version had both included) and that there was no definite answer on whether Pip and Estella ever ended up together, though there seemed to be at least more hope of it in Dickens’ revised ending.

I did think a great deal about Miss Havisham – it is that character which has remained most with me – and the way in which she attempts to stop time and in so doing must shut out the world, shut off life, teaches an importance lesson about life and living and not becoming so consumed by the past that you shut out the present and the future.

The experience reading Great Expectations has left me very keen on delving into another Dickens. I have a few unread novels of his on the bookshelf and I think I might try either Bleak House or Our Mutual Friend in the near future. The Masterpiece Theatre version of the latter has been keeping me company today as I recover from my wisdom teeth extraction so that might be the next trip I take into the world of Mr. Dickens.

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