Friday, July 24, 2015

Great Expectations--Monetary or Personal?

 I finally finished Great Expectations--Pip's great expectations have vanished, leaving him in debt but also forcing him to undergo redemption and turn from a fop into a man.  Perhaps the point of the book is that great expectations aren't monetary, as it's ruinous to expect to be made happy by money, but rather great expectations are personal, as associations are ultimately rewarding. 
In as great an incredible piece of literary license as you'll ever find in literature, Pip and the cold and heartless but beautiful Estella, her features and her implacable inhumanity softened and altered by time, sadness and hardship, meet on the grounds of the ruined Satis House more than a decade after the passing of its owner, the reclusive jilted-bride Miss Havisham, who raised Estella to be what she became.  This chance encounter occurs when each is on a lonely moonlight stroll, scheduled to depart forever on the morrow after a brief nostalgic sojourn to the place of their childhood.
"'Estella!'  'I am greatly changed.  I wonder you know me.'  The freshness of her beauty was indeed gone, but its indescribable majesty and its indescribable charm remained.  Those attractions in it I had seen before; what I had never seen before was the saddened, softened light of the once proud eyes; what I had never felt before was the friendly touch of the once insensible hand. 
"We sat down on a bench that was near, and I said, 'After so many years, it is strange that we should thus meet again, Estella, here where our first meeting was!  Do you often come back?'  'I have never been here since.'  'Nor I.'"

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