Great Expectations, written by famous British author Charles Dickens, tells the story of Pip, an orphan (孤儿) boy who wastes his good luck on luxuries (奢侈品).
The simplified version, by Australian Louise Benette and American David Hwang, also proves the authors’ storytelling skills. Here they reveal Pip’s motivations (动力) through a first-person point of view, allowing Pip himself to tell the story. As a result, we sympathize with (与……产生共鸣) Pip.
Pip is from a poor, working-class family. Most boys like Pip would do the job of the oldest male in the family, but Pip is different. He doesn’t want to be a blacksmith (铁匠) like his brother-in-law, Joe. Instead, he wants to be a gentleman and learn how to read. He hopes to be rich and spend all his time studying.
The introduction of Miss Havisham makes us curious. What does she want with Pip? Will she help him become a gentleman?
The authors attract us to find out the answer to the question, but the story is so full of twists and turns (一波三折) that nothing goes quite as we expect it.
Excerpt from the book:
Joe had promised to teach me to become a blacksmith when I became older. But I didn’t want this. I dreamed of a better life. I wanted to be rich and study all day long. I sat dreaming about the life I wanted, but my happy thoughts were interrupted when my sister came into the room saying, “Well, what a lucky boy our Pip is! I hope she doesn’t pamper (纵容) him.”
Mr. Pumblechook was with my sister and he said,“She’s not the type to pamper a person.”
“Who?” asked Joe.
“Miss Havisham,” replied my sister impatiently. “She wants Pip to play with a girl in her house. She might pay him. He’d better go or he’ll be in trouble with me.”
Joe was very surprised. “How does she know Pip?” he asked.
“Idiot!” replied my sister. “She doesn’t know him! Uncle Pumblechook is her neighbor. She asked if he knew a boy and then he kindly mentioned Pip.”
Uncle Pumblechook looked very pleased. He was proud he knew Miss Havisham.
“This boy could make money by going to Miss Havisham. He should be grateful,” said my sister.