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"Great Expectations" - Dickens
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Author:  p.falk [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:20 pm ]
Post subject:  "Great Expectations" - Dickens

This is my 2nd Dickens novel. Oliver Twist was very enjoyable.
I'm on the 18th chapter of Great Expectations and it's a pretty slow read so far. I heard that it was one of his best, but I'm struggling a bit with falling into it.
While the writing for Oliver Twist was very clear (aside from some archaic terms, but easy to find out the meaning), there are some passages in this that I have to read a few times over to still not make much sense of what's exactly being said.

Author:  lbt [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

It is better to read the novel than those movies.

Movies are so different. Ugh!

Author:  gherkin [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

p.falk wrote:
This is my 2nd Dickens novel. Oliver Twist was very enjoyable.
I'm on the 18th chapter of Great Expectations and it's a pretty slow read so far. I heard that it was one of his best, but I'm struggling a bit with falling into it.
While the writing for Oliver Twist was very clear (aside from some archaic terms, but easy to find out the meaning), there are some passages in this that I have to read a few times over to still not make much sense of what's exactly being said.

Some of it's just a matter of familiarity. The more you read of it, the more easily you'll read it. It's like doing push ups. They're hard. The only way to get better at them is to do more of them.

In terms of the story, you're basically in the set-up period, but you're just at the turn now. And the thing to hang onto is the characters. You've already gotten to see Joe Gargery, Miss Havisham, etc. The characters are always the main payoff with Dickens, IMHO. Enjoy them. Let the plot do what it will.

Author:  Person [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

Yes, definitely hang onto the characters because there is only one exciting scene in the whole book. I'm remember this from the perspective a 15-year-old, when I was forced to read Great Expectations in English class. Hated every minute. Even today, whenever I hear the name Pip, I instantly yawn.

Author:  gherkin [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

I wouldn't trust the reaction of the average 15-year-old to Dickens anymore than I'd trust his reaction to Beethoven.

Author:  GKC [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

gherkin wrote:
I wouldn't trust the reaction of the average 15-year-old to Dickens anymore than I'd trust his reaction to Beethoven.



At age 15, I liked Beethoven. And such of Dickens as I had read.

Author:  Person [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

I wouldn't trust the reaction of a 15-year-old either. That's why I made a point of saying how old I was when I read it so you could take it was a grain of salt. However, I very much liked Beethoven and Oliver Twist at 15, but Great Expectations was a snooze fest.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

GKC wrote:
gherkin wrote:
I wouldn't trust the reaction of the average 15-year-old to Dickens anymore than I'd trust his reaction to Beethoven.



At age 15, I liked Beethoven. And such of Dickens as I had read.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuQBjuySvyw

Author:  GKC [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
GKC wrote:
gherkin wrote:
I wouldn't trust the reaction of the average 15-year-old to Dickens anymore than I'd trust his reaction to Beethoven.



At age 15, I liked Beethoven. And such of Dickens as I had read.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuQBjuySvyw



Schroeder reminds my of our parish music director/organist/pianist. But he's more into Bach.

Author:  gherkin [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

Person wrote:
I wouldn't trust the reaction of a 15-year-old either. That's why I made a point of saying how old I was when I read it so you could take it was a grain of salt. However, I very much liked Beethoven and Oliver Twist at 15, but Great Expectations was a snooze fest.

I get why you'd say that, and it's why I think it's such a mistake to assign Dickens to school kids--especially his "serious" stuff like Great Expectations. However, there's really nothing remotely snoozy about things like Pip's relationship with Joe Gargery or with Estella--they involve some of the most poignant and painful scenes in literature, really.

Author:  Person [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

I can't believe this, but you're making me want to read it again :shock: .

Author:  gherkin [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

:laughhard

Author:  p.falk [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

It's becoming a bit more enjoyable...
Gherkin was right: it just took a bit more patience with becoming familiar with the writing style.

The one thing I'm hoping someone can clear up for me is the gifts that Wemmrick received from the two men who were hanged.

Why did they give him gifts right before dying? Was it in hopes that he could save them at the last hour?
Or were they thankful for the help that he did provide (I’m guessing not this one). I’m missing something as to why 2 men, sentenced to death, would bother with gifts… and, according to the other jewelry he had, many others as well.

Author:  Mrs. Timmy [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

p.falk wrote:
It's becoming a bit more enjoyable...
Gherkin was right: it just took a bit more patience with becoming familiar with the writing style.

The one thing I'm hoping someone can clear up for me is the gifts that Wemmrick received from the two men who were hanged.

Why did they give him gifts right before dying? Was it in hopes that he could save them at the last hour?
Or were they thankful for the help that he did provide (I’m guessing not this one). I’m missing something as to why 2 men, sentenced to death, would bother with gifts… and, according to the other jewelry he had, many others as well.

1. Who is this "Gherkin" of whom you speak?

2. IIRC, it was customary back in the day for the condemned to offer a gift to the executioner in hopes that he would make the death as quick and as painless as possible.

Author:  p.falk [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

Didn't know that about executioners getting a gift. Interesting.

However, with the story... Wemmrick wasn't the executioner. He was a clerk who handled payments for Mr. Jaggers.

Author:  Mrs. Timmy [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

Oops...busted. :oops:

Author:  Doom [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

Mrs. Timmy wrote:

2. IIRC, it was customary back in the day for the condemned to offer a gift to the executioner in hopes that he would make the death as quick and as painless as possible.


I don't know where you read that, but it has never been customary anywhere.

What, however, used to customary is for the executioner, before he did the deed, to ask for forgiveness from the prisoner for what he was about to do. At least most of the time, forgiveness was granted.

Author:  gherkin [ Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

It's been a long time since I read the book.....is there an implication that the "gifts" were either actually stolen, or that perhaps they were elicited as (completely pointless) bribes? IOW, the gifts were meant by Dickens to be seen by the reader as evidence of the total moral depravity of the character in question. But as I say, it's been a very long time, and I don't recall the scene. Or even the character, particularly well.

Author:  GKC [ Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

gherkin wrote:
It's been a long time since I read the book.....is there an implication that the "gifts" were either actually stolen, or that perhaps they were elicited as (completely pointless) bribes? IOW, the gifts were meant by Dickens to be seen by the reader as evidence of the total moral depravity of the character in question. But as I say, it's been a very long time, and I don't recall the scene. Or even the character, particularly well.



It's been even longer since I read it. I think maybe the "gifts" were in fact misappropriations of what a google search tells me was the "portable property" of the prisoners, which Wemmick appropriates for himself.

I had to look it up.

Author:  gherkin [ Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Great Expectations" - Dickens

Dickens does that kind of thing in various places. Man, can he ever draw a creepy character.

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