Publisher: Penguin Audio
Date: June 2005
Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes
Standing as one of the most revered works in all of English literature, Great Expectations traces the development of Philip Pirrip, called Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations to a man of depth and character. Pip is reared by his sister and her husband Joe Gargery, a blacksmith. In his youth he is influenced by the eccentric Miss Havisham, who was jilted on her wedding night and who has brought up her adopted niece Estella to hate men. As a young man, Pip is informed that an unknown benefactor has provided money for his education and expects to make him his heir. Forsaking his humbler friends-particularly the faithful Joe-he sets off to London with the firm intention of becoming a gentleman and realizing his "great expectations."
Dickens's mastery of caricature-projecting the richness of life and giving depth to the atmosphere in which the events take place-is never more evident than in this masterwork. Nor is the theme of false pride presented more clearly anywhere else. The desire of Pip to improve himself is gratified by the advent of his "great expectations," but this leads him to snobbishness. Only when his fortune changes is he able to obtain stature.