Great Expectations

I first read the abridged version of this book as a non – detailed study in my 8th standard. The characters in the book -Pip, Estella, Havisham -left a lasting impression on me at that time. I always wanted to read the whole book one day, but I didn’t come across it until after my graduation. When I found the book as a free download in Project Gutenberg last year, I was excited as I was going to meet the characters once again. The size of the book shocked me because the abridged version I read in my childhood was just a hundred pages, while the original book is too long. Yet it was once again a wonderful journey with Pip, Estella, Joe,Biddy Havisham and ofcourse the prisoner Magwitch.

The length of the novel, I learnt later, was due to the fact that the author Charles Dickens was paid in terms of number of words. The avid description of the marshes at the starting of the book lets us paint the whole scene in our mind. The transition of a common village boy to a successful person is a story we hear often, but here the author presents a deep insight into the struggle the boy faces to become successful, and in the journey the valuable lessons he learnt are also shown.

When Pip first meets Estella, she calls him a common village boy, and mocks that his hands are coarse and dirty. This fires a strong ambition in Pip to become great, and to prove that he’s not ‘common’. At that time, an offer to become gentleman by an unknown benefactor comes like a gift. Pip lives in the wrong impression that it is Miss Havisham who is doing everything to make him eligible for Estella, and so he ignores Joe, Biddy and his sister. But it is later revealed it was a prisoner who made him a gentleman. This and several other incidents open his eyes.  He comes to realise the greatness of Joe, who loved him truly without any expectations. He apologises to Joe and Biddy for his rudeness, and later he becomes a successful business man along with his friend Herbert.

Every character in this story is unique, and that is what made this a novel Classic. Though it’s long, don’t hesitate to invest time on this novel as it teaches valuable lessons of friendship, love, and greatness.


  1. No more book reviews? Or no reads??

  2. I still remember his name "Philip Pirrip"