QUICKLET ON CHARLES DICKENS' GREAT EXPECTATIONS (CLIFFSNOTES-LIKE SUMMARY, ANALYSIS, AND COMMENTARY)
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ABOUT THE BOOK I first read Great Expectations for a middle school English course. Often, I was one of the only kids in my class that would actually read the assigned title, and this book was no different. However, while I normally read the books compulsively and didn't necessarily enjoy them, Great Expectations I truly did relish reading. I related strongly to Pip, the protagonist, who feels pressured by a mysterious benefactor to accomplish great things. Because of the faith of this benefactor and his quick rise from a poor working background, the young Pip often feels that he must be superior to his peers from more privileged backgrounds, which often provokes their resentment. The young me didn't recognize the cause and effect of Pip's behavior and the resulting abuse from the other kids, but I think one of the reasons I identified with him so strongly was my own failure to recognize the effect my attitude might have had on the way I was treated. Later in life, I read Great Expectations again. In this second reading I felt a strong kinship with the Pip character as an older man. Despite all of the support he received from his benefactor, he still ends up falling ill and deeply into debt and ultimately achieving a relatively mediocre life. I, too, came into illness and debt in my early twenties which slowed down my progress in life significantly. Pip's attitude of superiority toward his peers and the expectation that he will be great falls short of reality. MEET THE AUTHOR Jean Asta is the owner of Asta Communications, a freelance communications company providing writing, editing, and training services for clients around the globe. She has a BA in English Literature and a Master's in Public Administration, both from the University of Georgia. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK At the beginning of the tale Pip lives with his older sister and her husband, Joe Gargery, the blacksmith. Pip and Mrs. Joe lost their parents long ago, and we get the sense that Mrs.