The great American author and Academy Award winning screenwriter John Irving calls Great Expectations, "the novel that made me want to be a novelist-specifically, to move a reader as I was moved". This story's orphaned hero, Pip, who undergoes change and growth, progressing from thoughtless selfishness to humble industry and generosity, is one of Dickens's best-loved characters. "It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home," finding himself apprenticed to his blacksmith brother-in-law and "dusty with the dust of small coal." An anonymous benefactor lifts the young man to what seems a higher station - giving him the opportunity to shun kind friends and slip into debt, but also to feel the pleasure of being a benefactor himself and ultimately to learn humility and repentance.
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