“You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since-on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with.”
I can walk with my head held a little higher now. I finally did it. I popped my Dickens cherry with Great Expectations! I started reading it last year and didn’t finish it until now. As they say, better late than pregnant! I chose Great Expectations because I knew, even before having read the book, that Miss Havisham was the most compelling female character ever written. (I will not hear a word of dissent, thank you very much) Also, the 1998 contemporary film adaptation by Alfonso Cuaron (with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke) is one of my favorite movies of ALL TIME. I love the art, the clothes, and the soundtrack especially. That was Gwynnie at her absolute best, pre-GOOP. I didn’t mind at all that the novel’s plot had been pretty much spoiled. In fact, I deliberately steered clear of Dickens’ more obscure titles. I’m new at this, so…baby steps.
Is a synopsis even necessary? Here goes one anyway and I’m not gonna hold back on the spoilers because I’m probably the only philistine here:
Great Expectations revolves around an orphan named Pip and his interactions with a host of rich, varied and intriguing characters—a convict with a heart of gold, sainted father-figure Joe, hotshot lawyer Jaggers, BFF Herbert, endearing Aged P, and for course, bitter and more than a little deranged Miss Havisham and her ward Estella, an uppity beauty bred to be the instrument of Miss Havisham’s revenge on the male species. The book follows Pip from childhood well into adulthood, through various changes of fortunes, heartbreaks, tests of character, and a bunch of other things that made me cry. *insert Claire Danes’ ugly cry face here*