As the greatest novelist of his time, Charles Dickens has some beauties to his name. I mean, it blows my mind every time I think that Great Expectations, Bleak House, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nichelby, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, AND David Copperfield were all written by him. One man! One mind! Even if you don't like Dickens (How do you even have a soul?!?) you have to admit that is pretty much incredible. He was a master of words and could use them to create the most distinct and memorable characters. Seriously, nobody has characters like Dickens. I don't nessecarily have a favorite novel by Dickens. That is to say, I have a lots of favorites, depending on which of his novels I am most recently aquainted with.
And right now it is Great Expectations. If you haven't read this story, (Why do you even exist?!?) start it. Every person should read this story at some point in their lives, ideally as a teenager. The themes Dickens weaves through this masterpeice of a story are truely beautiful. Yes, it is dark, but it has tremendous beauty. It is the beauty of the human soul, with dark and insane patches, but redeemed by the equisitely beautiful mottled goodness God has placed there. It is a story that speaks of the soul, and speaks directly to the soul. It is unsettling, it is both happy and sad, it made me laugh, and it made me cry. I don't know if Dickens intended this story to change lives, but it does. I don't know if Dickens intended for God to dwell in this story, but He does.
It is story of Pip, the boy from the forge. Pip is an orphan raised by his truculent older sister, and her husband Joe. I consider Joe to be one of the most beautiful fictional characters in the whole realm of literature. He is a simple, kind hearted black-smith who helps to raise the orphan pip, and to protect him from the "rampages" of his fractious older sister. It is a coming of age story. It is the story of what Grace means, it's a story of the destructive powers of discontentment. It shows what the words "you are special, you deserve better than this." can do to the human soul. It shows the bond that true, unconditional friendhip ties around the human heart. It starts simple and slow, like the flow of the river marshes that begin the setting; but by the end it is as torrential and complex as the bustling streets of Victorian London it comes to depict.
With out spoiling the story, let me say, Great Expectations is an anthem to the Grace of God, showing even the smallest act of kindness by a frightened child can change the life of another.