Rachel Reviews: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

We have read a lot of classic novels for Victorian literature. Classics seemed to be widely recognised stories that somehow weave themselves into pop culture / television.

(The Simpsons have many episodes where they retell classic stories)

However, I have found that I had misunderstood the inner details of these texts. Instead of previously knowing a summary of the texts, I now have gained a deeper understanding of the novels. ‘Great Expectations’ by Dickens is one story which I previously taught I knew, only to be surprised by the reality.


If you are interested in reading ‘Great Expectations’, below is the Amazon link for the novel:



Quick Synopsis:

Set in London in the 1800’s, ‘Great Expectations’ tells the story of Pip and he’s journey to become a gentleman. Beginning life as a humble blacksmith apprentice, Pip is fortunate to discover he has an anonymous benefactor; who is intent on seeing Pip rise in social status. As Pip is pursuing these great expectations, he is curious about this unknown patron. Joining Pip on the path to maturity, the reader is invited along on thrilling adventures to unravel the truth.



Below is the trailer for the 2013 film adaptation of the novel.

This trailer belongs to Movieclips Trailers




My Thoughts:

I wasn’t particularly fond of the main character, Pip. I found him to be a very passive character who has no control over his life (or feelings). Once he became a ‘gentleman’ he forgot about Joe and Biddy; who were actually my favourite characters. I loved Joe. He seemed to be one of the only characters who was down to earth. What you see is what you get with Joe. He is simply a humble blacksmith.

The women in the novel were not depicted well. The main women characters were shown to be cruel women with a vendetta against men. This is seem most with Miss Havisham and Mrs Joe. Both who are cruel and depressing in different ways.

I enjoyed the story and the plots progression, however, I did not like how the novel seemed to drag. During the tutorial for the novel, my tutor remarked that Dickens published the novel in the newspaper. He would submit a chapter or two every few weeks and the public followed the story’s progression weekly. I couldn’t imagine maintaining interest for that long. However, those were different times, and they were not as lucky to have access to Netflix, like I do.

They say millennials are all about instant gratification, which may be true.





Have you read ‘Great Expectations’? What were your thoughts?


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