Monday, February 26, 2024

Weaknesses for the sake of the despicable in “Great Expectations” (1861) and in my own life

In Charles Dickens's "Great Expectations" (1861), when blacksmith Joe Gargery plans to visit his upwardly-mobile brother-in-law Pip in London, Pip is happy Joe will visit him at the apartment he shares with Herbert Pocket, and not at Herbert's parents' house, where the unpleasant Bentley Drummle also lives. Pip fears Drummle would look down at working-class Joe: “So, throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.” I'm reminded all too well of my schooldays: bullied myself, I rejected the interest of a charming girl who was just as unpopular as me, because my bullies would have made fun of us. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 26 February 2024) 

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