So I've decided that I would read one book every month for this entire year that was not part of my assigned readings from my classes. During March and February I returned to two novels that I think I merely skimmed when I was assigned to read them in High School. The following is an account of some of the things I overlooked and could have noticed if I had actually taken the time to do so. I enjoyed Feb's book the most so i've blogged a bit on it.
Things I noticed in Great Expectations
-There is a fine line between imagining and telling a lie
-There is a need for children to listen to themselves because they are innocent (this is limited in some respects)
-Expectations usually dictate our decisions, and what morals guide our pursuits. President Monson gave a talk that incorporated the theme of "expectations" from this book. I think he said it best when he said, " I say to you, as that lawyer said about Pip, you havegreat expectations—not as the result of an unknown benefactor, but as the result of a known benefactor—even our Heavenly Father—and great things are expected of you."
-Experience allows you to make connections and gain personal insight
-Life s full of Options, Pip brings up the idea of links that are made of iron or gold, thorns or flowers, however both are necessary to growth
-There are two popular/common leads to one's morality : Money or Integrity
-plays into Blake's Innocence vs. Experience ideas
-Pip is writing a reflective narrative, this brings up the idea of keeping a record, and writing your story as a means of establishing identity and evaluating your values.
-Helping others (Pip to Herbert, Magwitch to Pip) can be a mechanism of redemption, however I think there is a selfish element to this channel of atonement
-companionship is a human need
So there are two endings to this book the revised and the original. Personally, I like the revised ending because both Pip and Estella experience a moment of clarity. Even though there is ambiguity as to what path they will both take, the words and gestures they share emphasize that both characters have experienced a transformation that has brought them to understand themselves better. I think its interesting that their imperfect nature makes them perfect for each other.