Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

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One Of The Most Memorable And Relevant Novels By The Great Charles Dickens. A Truly Epic Story. Download Great Expectations, READ online FREE or buy:

As the 13th masterpiece by the beloved Dickens, this story is incredibly insightful and grandiose, just like all the other monumental works by the master. This is one of his finest books, a tale of epic proportions. Great Expectations is a novel about everything, as the critics like to call it. A coming-of-age story with a strong emphasis on culture, education, and the becoming of a man.

Mainly focused on the physical, and, most importantly, moral growth, this book follows the life of a regular lad who turns into an adult over the course of the story. The hero, Pip, is the most important “element” of this tale. This genre allowed Dickens to use his writing skills and life experience to deliver a true classic.

The kid is an orphan, and he’s got a long road ahead on him. After the critically-acclaimed DC, this is the 2nd book that uses the 1st-person narration technique. The bestseller first saw the light of day in 1860 in a serialized form and instantly became a crowd-pleaser.

Great Expectations Summary

The story welcomes the readers to the once-famed British Empire. The XIX century is just on the horizon, and the UK is going through a rough patch. The novel starts with a scene where Pip is standing in the middle of a graveyard and is being accosted by an escaped thug.

He’s just a 7-year-old kid trying to connect with his dead mom, dad, and siblings. The boy lives with his sis, a mean woman, and Joe, her spouse, a very friendly and kind man. A few years later, the boy visits a rich old lady who still walks around in her wedding dress.

There, he learns what it means to love a girl. Estella, her adopted girl, steals his heart the second they look into each other’s eyes. Tragedy follows soon: an envious man attacks Pip’s sister and leaves her disabled. Unable to walk around or even speak, she turns into a completely different person. That day, the boy turns into a grown man and decides to follow his own path.

Charles Dickens At His Best

This story comes with extremes in everything. On his journey, Pip experiences poverty, desperation, fights for his survival and even ends up on the verge of sanity. The characters of this novel are among the most hilarious ones in Dickens’s lineup.

They include Estella, the gorgeous yet feisty girl, Joe, the kind-hearted and simple blacksmith, and many others. As always, the writer pays a lot of attention to character development and creates images that get stuck in our heads.

At first, Dickens wanted to create a tiny story that involved a young boy who becomes friends with a convict, a man who later leaves him a fortune. That’s still the pivotal theme in Great Expectations (the thug from the opening scene turns out to be his new best friend), but Dickens turned the short story into a grandiose novel later and introduced many amazing characters.

By the time the master started working on this novel, his periodical was in decline. However, Great Expectations brought it back up. The critics loved the story and called it one of the man’s most inspiring and happy tales. It’s safe to say that it was a huge success.

Trouble In Paradise

While he was working on this masterpiece, Dickens embarked on quite a fast-paced, intriguing and acclaimed reading tour. At the same time, his personal life was nothing to be proud of. He divorced his wife in the late ’50s. The man was having an affair with another woman.

Her name was Ellen, and the critics believe that Dickens was inspired by her when he created Estella, one of his greatest characters ever. She didn’t want anything to do with the married man, and it took him a lot of effort to make her believe his intentions were serious.

Mr. Bulwer-Lytton claimed that the ending way too sad, forcing Dickens to rewrite it. The original version was considerably darker and none of the characters found happiness at the end. However, many folks thought that it was a wrong move to change the initial concept.

Equally Loved By Everybody

Great Expectations is an extremely popular novel that is loved both by the fans and the critics. It has been adapted into movies, TV shows, stage plays, radio broadcasts, and everything in between. Ever since it was published, folks have been trying to deliver the best adaptation.

Usually, there are two “camps” when it comes to a book by Dickens. The first one calls it a genius piece of art, while the second one is all about criticizing it. But Great Expectations isn’t really that case. As soon as it hit the shelves, the story was received with rave reviews.

And even though Carlyle didn’t seem to like it that much and used to call it something like “that ridiculous story about Pip”, he still admitted he was hooked on it and that the novel made him laugh like never before. On the other hand, Bernard Shaw had only good things to say about it. Dickens himself was very proud of this book.

Great Expectations Themes

The central themes in this epic novel are love, hate, rejection, poverty, inequality, and the battle between anger and kindness and the triumph of the latter. Social class/alienation, wealth, and imperialism are probably the central themes of Great Expectations. The novel was written at a time when the British Empire was spreading its influence to the farthest parts of the earth.

They had colonies in India, Cairo (Pip spent 11 years working there) and pretty much everywhere else. Dickens talks about imperialism as a necessary part of evolution and shares his own opinion throughout the thoughts and ideas of his characters.

Great Expectations, just like many other classic masterpieces by Dickens, has influenced numerous writers. The story inspired countless folks to believe in themselves and to put their talents to the limits. Dickens talks about poverty, being an outcast and the undeniable social problems of the British people in a unique, engaging way.

A Great Expectations Movie

There are literally dozens of adaptations of this story. Movies, series, stage plays – you name it. Overall, there are 20 cinema/television editions and 9 stage versions. The first silent film came out in 1917. Another one hit the theaters in ’22.

The first sound adaptation arrived in ’34. The movie cast included Phillips Holmes among others. The 1946 movie is considered to be one of the finest adaptations ever. If you want to watch the best Great Expectations movie, we suggest you start with this masterpiece.

An Americanized version was introduced to the public in 1998. Hawke and Paltrow played the lead roles, while the names of the original characters were changed to make them look more, well, American. There even was a South Park episode about this novel!

A 3-part series on BBC, starring Gillian Anderson, came out in 2011. And finally, in 2016, an Indian company decided to make its own adaptation. The very first stage edition premiered in 1939. A stage musical in 1975 received rave reviews.

Social Outcasts And Oppressors

Pip is a social outcast, and he lives his life a certain way, strange to everyone around him but normal for the boy. He is not very pleased to be close to the graveyard and the swamps; yet, he has no other choice but to be an outcast. He strongly believes that society will never call him its own and that is why he’s so aggressive.

Pip does everything in his power to find a place where he belongs in society and is ready to sacrifice many things just to feel accepted. In a world where people use each other for their own personal gain, Pip is trying really hard to find real connection and trust.

Becoming a member of society for him goes hand in hand with conquering Estella’s heart. The hero genuinely believes that he deserves a big reward from destiny; so, when he becomes rich, the man accepts it as something that was always in stores for him.

The story of Pip is monumental and will always be relevant. Furthermore, the majority of the problems that Dickens outlined in this immortal novel are still a big part of our reality.

 

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