2. Favourite Book
The best way to express how I feel about this question is to quote Danielle from Ever After. Prince Henry whisks her away to the Franciscan Monastery, which holds a fantastic library. Danielle upon seeing the multitude of books in front of her exclaims that the sight makes her want to cry. Prince Henry suggests that she should pick one and she replies with the quote below.
“I could no sooner choose a favourite star in the heavens” – Danielle (Ever After)
I echo the sentiments Danielle expresses. While there have been a few books of which I have found less enjoyable, the majority have completely absorbed me. How many hours have I spent in blissful solitude, curled up with a book, joining in the adventures of what ever protagonist has wrapped me up and taken me along for the ride.
Books are funny things. They can often conceal the author but reveal the reader. How many times have I read a book that has left me with more questions about myself, than the author who wrote the tale. Stories have often been weaved by storytellers to prick at the conscience of society. One the authors noted for doing this is Charles Dickens.
The book I have chosen as my favourite, is one of Mr Dicken’s. Now I have often claimed since first reading the tale that this is my favourite, but why?
G R E A T E X P E C T A T I O N S
Great Expectations is the story of Philip Pirrip – better known as Pip.
It is on Christmas Eve when we first encounter seven year old Pip. The young orphan is in a graveyard gazing at the graves of his mother and father, along with several siblings. This is also the catalyst that changes young Pip’s life. While in the graveyard Pip encounters a convict, who asks him to bring him for food and file. A file is easy for Pip who has been taken in by his sister and her blacksmith husband Joe Gargery. Little does Pip know that this one action is going to have great consequences on his life in the future.
The books best known character is probably Miss Havisham, the eternal bride. After being jilted by her fiancé on the morning of her wedding, she spends the rest of her life in her wedding dress and one shoe. Her home becomes a shrine to the wedding day that she will never have.
Why is Great Expectations my favourite book?
I could probably give you a plethora of reasons why, out of all the books in the world this one is my favorite. I am however just going to give two.
The first reason is quite simple, it was the first classic I ever read. I was 9 years old and as part of book week, we studied the first few pages of novel. If I remember correctly I think we were studying the Victorians as the term topic, so this all slotted together. Those few first pages however were enough to ignite my imagination and find the book in the library. I cannot remember exactly how long it took me to complete this first read through. A child more used to reading Enid Blyton or Roald Dalh, but the tale became my firm favourite. A book I would often pick up so I could visit my old friends. Looking back I don’t know what first drew me to this book, I only know it is a book I never go long without revisiting again.
Another reason why I read the book so much was due to Miss Havisham’s character. The eternal bride, who stopped time on what was probably one of the most traumatic day’s of her life. Younger and naive, I romanticised her character in my mind, excused her odd behaviour and forgave her treatment of Estella. She was after all jilted by her one true love.
As your own years start to pass, you begin to lose pity for the sorrowful creature. A Lady of wealth, who compared to the poverty that surrounded her had everything in abundance. The truth about Miss Havisham though, is that her shrine to her wedding day. The years locked up in her house, wearing only her wedding dress and one shoe, stopping all the clocks and raising Estella as a weapon against all men, was one great enormous tantrum. Think about it? The one thing she could not possess was the gentleman (or not as it turns out) who got away. So, instead of getting over it, she sulked, because as a spoilt little rich girl, that is how she always got her own way. Later on Miss Havisham shows remorse for her actions but by then of course it is too late.
Happy endings are a bit allusive in the tale. Even Pip’s ending is obscure. Yet, overall out of all the stories out there, I choose Great Expectations, because it has always been part of my life.