Wednesday, March 01, 2023

The secrecy of the young in Charles Dickens’s “Great Expectations” (1861) and Carol Shields’s “Larry’s Party” (1998)

When Pip in Charles Dickens's "Great Expectations" (1861) is bullied by an escaped convict to steal food for him, he reflects on his youthful feelings: "Since that time, which is far enough away now, I have often thought that few people know what secrecy there is in the young under terror." While this reminded me of the depiction of the Terror during the French Revolution in Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities" (1859), I also thought of Carol Shields's "Larry's Party" (1997), when Larry recalling what his parents knew about the bullying he experienced: "[...] they didn't have an inkling, and [...] it takes a thousand inklings to make a clue." (Andrew Shields, #111words, 1 March 2023)

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