Dickens never ages. In spectacular fashion, his fiction is timeless and stellar. It’s been a while since I indulged in Dickensian splendour but none of its glory had faded and I delighted in every moment of the language and colour of this awesome tale.
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlaying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried than before, – more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
Great Expectations is filled with these types of divine insights. About weakness:
“So, throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.”
“I’ll tell you,” said she, in the same hurried passionate whisper, “what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smitter – as I did!”
And about expectations:
“As I had grown accustomed to my expectations, I had insensibly begun to notice their effect upon myself and those around me. Their influence on my own character I disguised from my recognition as much as possible, but I knew very well that it was not all good.”
It is this exploration of man’s essence that classifies Dickens as one of the great canonical writers of our world, his ability to flesh out characters, expose them and toy with the readers’ own sensibilities through his story-telling that defines him as brilliant.
I had forgotten so much about Dickens’ magic, and revisiting Great Expectations has brought some of this back to me. Not sure which Dickens I will be revelling in next, but whatever it is, I know I won’t be disappointed!