Great Expectations is my third Dickens’s work in three months. I liked A Christmas Carol, loved A Tale of Two Cities, but I tolerated Great Expectations. Is there something wrong with me, or did I merely hit “Dickens Fatigue”?
This is a story of Pip, and boy living with his sister and brother-in-law, Joe. Pip meets two people that alter the course of his life: an escaped convict and an elderly recluse. He discovers through a mediator/attorney that he is the beneficiary of “great expectations,” a fortune that will allow him to move out of the country to London, receive an education, and learn how to be a gentleman. He sees how the upper echelon of society is not all its cracked up to be, and he feels like an outsider even among his friends.
I grew weary of the many, many characters throughout this novel, although the connection of Pip and Joe was especially sweet. The redemption of past sins is a theme here as well, seen as a small picture of our own quelled rebellion as we put down our arms against God when we encounter the gospel.
I’m not quitting Charles Dickens, but I will take a short vacation from him. He’s been one of those friends you love, but get tired of because you’ve vacationed together for too long.