Great Expectations

I will admit, I like Charles Dickens’s work, but Great Expectations is not my favorite text. I prefer Oliver Twist or Our Mutual Friend. I even like Hard Times, despite it’s uneven handling of factory life. (I have one student who expects every novel he now reads for a class with me to disappoint him as bitterly as Oliver Twist did; those four installments in the countryside were not his cup of tea.) I think I dislike Great Expectations because we’re supposed to want Pip with Estella, and really, she’s quite awful. No, life with Miss Havisham cannot have been the stuff that makes for a good mental outlook, which Dickens captures perfectly. Yet, I always feel like that part of the story line is utterly forced. I’m glad that the new adaptation seems to be focused on Miss Havisham, and her creepy control of Pip.

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