Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

9780141194363_greatexpectations_0The story is told from the point-of-view of Pip, who is still seven years old when the book begins. He is poor, and uneducated. Pip’s parents have sadly passed away, leaving him with his mean sister and his sister’s husband, Joe, who is the turnover of Pip’s sister. Pip is the exact opposite of me when I was seven. I am greatly educated and I don’t even have an older sister who is twenty years older than I am and is already married. I am “a normal girl” who still have parents. That makes me and Pip highly different.

The most interesting thing that happens in Pip’s bad childhood is being asked to go to the rich lady in town and her niece for a visit. I like the chapter when Pip goes to Ms. Havisham’s house and meets her niece, Estella. I think, Ms. Havisham must really be a grumpy lady in what the book describes. Estella’s character is a glitter in the pond with nothing inside, and when you fall in to retrieve it, you will get cold and go home with wet clothes and disappointment.

After those long visits, a surprise will happen. What will you think if somebody says you are given a large and gigantic sum of money? I would feel on top of the world and would immediately go shopping and buying everything that is really expensive. Pip is one of the luckiest. I feel so jealous after reading this part. For years, I have been joining competitions, trying to get some money so I can buy the books that I really want and my parents will not have to pay, and in everything, the highest sum I got is Rp 50,000.

Pip, the lucky duck, gets a large sum of money and will go to London, and have a lot of adventures there! Fancy that. ‘From Zero to Hero’ or on this occasion, ‘From Streets to Castles’. Of course, Pip is not that poor in the past, but in my knowledge, poor people rarely get this kind of transition.

And then, starts the adventure of Mr. Pip in London. He travels with a Mr. Jaggers, his friend who will guide him throughout the first and few years of Pip in London. Pip is really rich in this stage. I am always pondering, how many people, do you know, are having parents who already passed away and living with a mean sister who gets an accident and lose most of her memory? Then, suddenly, out of no where, an invitation appears from a rich  old grumpy lady? I never meet someone with the same fate as Pip’s. I don’t know if Dickens overdoes his writing. In this era, I see these kind of dramas only on television, copying Great Expectations‘ storyline.

In reversed, I just read in my history book that a millionare loses all his money during the World War. He has to sell apples to support himself. So, if the rich could become poor, then the poor could become rich; what happens to Pip may be possible in reality.

In London, Pip has a series of adventure. And for those who are reading Great Expectations and love the parts when Pip visits Ms. Havisham and Estella, we are on the same boat! Pip also visits Ms. Havisham, who is growing old and Estella, who is growing more beautiful. The death that happens in Pip’s family other than his parents is his sister, who grows weaker after the blow on the head. Joe, her husband, must be sad, but then he marries Pip’s best friend who has served Joe and his sister. They have a kid named after him.

Pip meets Estella again, her husband has died and she has been abused by him. After a talk with her, he sees ‘no shadow of parting.’ What does actually happen after that? I like to think Pip and Estella get married, but, the novel is over in that sentence.

I love this quote: ‘Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule’. I believe it is the same as: ‘dont judge the book by its cover’.  Great Expectations is Charles Dickens’ 13th novel and written in the 19th century, which is two centuries ago. I highly recommend this book to all young (and old) people in this generation. Why? Because it is a fine classic and reading a classic is good for us.


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