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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Books "GREAT EXPECTATIONS"

Judul Asli : GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Copyright © by Charles Dickens
This edition published in the Penguin English Library 2012 | 582 p
Front cover illustration : Coralie Bickford-Smith
ISBN : 978-0-141-19889-7

Volume One | Chapter 1 – 19 | p. 1 – 186
There was a boy name Philip ‘Pip’ Pirrip, orphan, raise and living with his sister who married with blacksmith name Joe Gargery. Mrs. Gargery is a woman who dissapointed with her life, her marriage, and being poor, so she always complaining and have a ‘hush-sharp’ mouth when comes to Pip and her husband. Pip just plain skinny boy, trying to avoid his sister’s anger each day, sometimes when a bit lucky, Joe will help him, rescue him from the punishment form Mrs. Gargery. Pip life will always be the same, if only not because three event happens on his life. First, when he accidently meet the escape convict who treating his life, and order to steal a file to break his chain. 

The second event, when Pip asked to come into Miss Havisham’s house – she is not only the wealthy woman in those area, but also living alone, with her unique and excentric life style. People often said that she is going crazy ‘coz of what happen in her past. The first visit, follom with the second, and on each week, little Pip has to visit Miss Havisham’s house, accompany and playing with her adopted daughter : Estella – a beautiful girl but always have ‘snob-attitude’ and often mocking Pip as ‘stupid-poor-boy’. Pip was a naive young boy with sharp mind. He observe all the things happens in Miss Havisham’s house, and without his knowing, Miss Havisham had ordering Estella to use Pip as ‘guine-pig’ to their main-goal, a plot made by crazy mind of Miss Havisham. 


[ source ]
Miss Havisham is a broken lady, with broken heart, betrayed by his fiancee who neglected her on their wedding days, after he collected some of her inheretance. In pursueing her revenge, she adopted a little girl, raise and traine her to becoming a cold-hearted woman, to revenge on man, to break man’s heart into pieces as she is. Pip is a perfect candidate as first experiment, and the boy already ‘falling’ into Estella despite her cruelty and mocking that often hurt his feelings. Miss Havisham also give an expression that Pip have opportunity to change his life into a better man – into a gentleman who will perfect as Estella’s companion. But when little Pip already hving his dreams higher, she crushing it with offering Joe Gargery quite amount of money to make Pip as his apprentice, as a blacksmith. 

Then the thirth event, appear when Pip already giving-up his dreams and trying to adjust his life back into reality, as a blacksmith’s apprentice. The lawyer from town, Mr. Jaggers (who Pip knowing as Miss Havisham’s lawyer), give the family a surprise news. A mysterious benefactor had give a large amount of fund to makes Pip as an gentleman, with the terms he must immideatly move and living in London, to learn and achieve the accomplishment. Pip jumped into the offer, despite Joe’s big dissappointment and worried about the current tragedy happens on his sister, that she had been attach with unknown stranger, makes her paralized and mute.  

[ source ]
Volume Two | Chapter 1 – 20 | p. 187 – 370
This stories following the journey of young Pip, living in London, learning to become a perfect gentleman. A mysterious benefactor who cannot be reveal until the perfect time, has giving Pip a chance to change his life. Pip suspected that the benefactor was Miss Havisham, so in his mind, the lady give him permission to change his life into honorable man, so he will suited as Estella’s companion. Pip was eager to absorb and learn all the things that matters, by the help of Herbert Pocket – son of Miss Havisham’s relatives, who had been throw-up from the his family heritantance,’ coz he choose to falling in love and marrying the common girl, instead honorable lady. 

Pip never meet Estella for a long time since the last when Miss Havisham giving Joe money in Pip’s apprentice. So when he been called again into Miss Havisham’s house, to meet Estella, he trying so hard to prove that he is a changes man now. Estella already warned him to forgert her and not to come-back in her house, but Pip cannot resist the temptation, showing-off his accomplishment. And the result, Pip will accompany Estella back to London, where she will attend her first debutante. Both Pip and Estella got their success on they first appearing into society, but if Estella playing among man who falling into her looks, Pip keeps his focus only for Estella, despite many young girls also interesting in his.

[ source ]
Volume Three | Chapter 1 – 20 | p. 371 – 554
Pip’s world had turn upside-down when he realize who the real benefactor that provide amount of money to change his life. His dreams to become a honorable man, a gentleman to win Estella heart’s now crushing into pieces, as Miss Havisham’s heart many years ago. When he confront the truth to Miss Havisham, and Mr Jaggers, he lost his spirit of life. But good-fellow Herbert Pocket, give him a warning, the danger that lays upon his life, whether he wanted or not. Now, Pip must find away to pay-back his benefactor, speacially when his life hanging on the thread. This is a man from Pip’s past, who never forget the act of kindness of a little boy, and promise him self to work his ass to make it happen this boy’s dreams, to make him a gentleman. 

~ 1998 Adaptations ~ [ source ]
Conclusion :
This is a very long story I’ve read since A Tale of Two Cities, and instead the title ‘Great Expectations’ it should change into ‘Great Dissapontment’ or ‘Great Sorrows’ because these stories full with it. Dickens keeps the mystery inside the stories, until the end, and still gave the readers undisclose ending. The main character Pip describe not as the strong character or have good quality as the hero. Instead Dickens puts him as the victims. But while reading it, and watching the movies adaptation (I watch three different movies, from 1998 Adaptations, 1999 Adaptations, 2011 Mini-Series), I sees Pip as an naive boy, who plays by Miss Havisham with Estella as the accomplish, turning this boy’ s dreams into imaginary lovely life. When a child giving such impression that there is another way of living, that more honorable, more appropriate to become an important man by living as an gentleman, well I suppose everyone will do it exaclty what they need to achieve it. 

~ 1999 Adaptations ~[ source ]
Then after through rough journey, the meaning of ‘gentleman’ got lost into different kind style of living. Being ‘gentleman’ not only can write and read well, dressed well and used good tailors (that cost almost as the same as the furniture), spend most of their time in the exclusice club (and spend more money into it), knows how to smell the wine, knows how to dance (with so many rules to apply). All of that, makes me thinking, is this a good ways to pursue in life ? I think Dickens also have the same thinking, by writing the different between honorable and common people. If the terms ‘honorable’ suppose to lead us into posstive ways, then this stories show us the opposite result. By being honorable Pip had throwing-out his family, rejected and ashamed when people knows his past.  He also forgeting the people who care about him deeply, he instead choose to pursue glamorous life, ignore all the warning from people how can sees that he will falling into deep trouble.

~ 2011 Mini-Series ~ [ source ]
If the term honorable corrected, I think Joe Gargery – the blacksmith, had show more honorable and noble act of his kindness, never having grudge or blame somebody else for all the bad things happen on his life. For the whole story, when I read that Joe finally married Biddy, was the happiest moment I feels between all the clusters inside. They both are good people, who deserve happiness in their life. Did I wanted Pip and Estella becoming a pairs ? Strangely, I don’t. I think the both of them are victims, but the both also selfish and cruel to others that already good to them. I don’t think they should be together, just because they had to be. Well, now I becoming Miss Havisham, trying to revenge on others, by blaming unhappines into someone else. Why this character Miss Havisham so much stronger than the rest of its charecters, despite her crazy-lunatic mind ? Coz in every little corner dark mind of ours, there’s lies Miss Havisham, specially when we having bad days, unhappiness, dissappointed, nor heart-broken. Might be not yet realize as a crazy-plot like Miss Havisham’s act, but please admmited your mind was thinking on the revenge when it happens in your life. 

~ 2012 Adaptations ~ [ source ]
Dickens always good in describing the darkest of human-mind. Mixed it with the deep-gaps happens in society, between wealthy and poor people, display the ugliness, the secret lays upon the people, with such detail on the different what’s important in life. Like when Pip had to work hard to learn the good manners in dining, while in the past his family struggling just to provide a good meals in the table, or when he must learn step by step to dance and act as a gentleman in the club, while the commoners busted their body, working to provide their family to survive one more day. Why the hatred so deep like the character Orlick describing, that rather to find another honets living, he pursue his revenge to makes Pip’s life miserable. It’s all start with envy than becoming obssesion to pay-back on the pain they have in life. There’s so many things happens in this stories, is more complex than just a drama, it’s a story about life of human-being. 

[ more about the author, books and related adaptations, visit at here : Charles Dickens | Great Expectations | Movie Adaptation (1998) | Movie Adaptation (1999) | Mini-Series (2011) | Movie Adaptation (2012) ]

Best Regards,


4 comments :

  1. Amazing. .. u very inspiring

    http://ikhwanuna1.blogspot.com/

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  2. Agree, Joe is the most favorable character, genuine from the start.
    The ending is unnatural, and I think it'd be better to make them separating than hanged them with just a slight hope.

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  3. I can't wait to watch the 2012 adaptation of Great Expectations, will it portray the book better than the other adaptations?

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  4. Actually Great Expectations is not really long, Dickens wrote other longer novels like David Copperfield, Our Mutual Friend, Little Dorrit, Nicholas Nickleby... they are all chunksters

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