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"...My great expectations had all dissolved, like our own marsh mists before the sun..."
Pope John Paul I described Dickens' books as "filled with love for the poor and a sense of social regeneration . . . warm with imagination and humanity". Such true charity permeates Dickens' novels and ultimately drives the characters either to choose regeneration or risk disintegration. In Great Expectations, Pip — symbolic of the pilgrim convert — gains both improved fortunes and a growth in wisdom, but as he acquires the latter, he must relinquish the former — ending with a wealth of profound goodness, not of worldly goods.
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ICE Study Guides are constructed to aid the reader of ICE classics to achieve a level of critical and literary appreciation befitting the works themselves.
Ideally suited for students themselves and as a guide for teachers, the ICE Study Guides serve as a complement to the treasures of critical appreciation already included in ICE titles.
That the Dickensian message was a Christian one is unmistakable. Reminiscent of an Augustinian model, one of reflection, conversion, and moral improvement, Pip undergoes an internal change that manifests itself in his profound contrition for his earlier deeds and his equally profound resolution to make amends. As we travel with Pip, we find that Dickens leads us to an acceptance of worldly limitations and an anticipation of final salvation.
A look at the essays
- "Symbolism in Dickens' Great Expectations" – Raimund Borgmeier
- "Finding Satisfaction in Great Expectations" – Crystal Downing
- "The Greatness of Gratitude" – Anthony Esolen
- "Pip's Progress" – Michael Hanke
- "Fantasies, Whims, and True Wishes in Great Expectations" – Mitchell Kalpakgian
- "The 'Rank Garden' and the Renewed Heart: Pip's Pilgrimage to Selfhood" – Robert P. Lewis
- "Dickens and Desire: Exploring Eros in Great Expectations" – Regis Martin
Jill Kriegel situates the reader with the introductory essay.
Books by Author
by last name, except for Wm. Shakespeare
Meet the Minds behind the Great Expectations Edition
Jill Kriegel earned her PhD in Comparative Studies from Florida Atlantic University. With emphases in nineteenth-century British literature and ancient Greek and early Christian philosophy, her dissertation explores Augustinian echoes in the novels of Charles Dickens. She has published articles in the Saint Austin Review (StAR) and Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture. In addition, she is editor of the Ignatius Critical Edition of Great Expectations and the forthcoming edition of Jane Eyre. Jill teaches English at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina.
Raimund Borgmeier is professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Giessen, Germany. Several times he was visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin, both in Madison and Milwaukee. His research fields are Shakespeare, eighteenth- and nineteenth- century literature, special genres (science fiction, crime fiction), and contemporary literature.
With a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Crystal Downing has published on a wide variety of literary topics, from Shakespeare to the Brontës, and has won both national and international awards for her essays on film. Much of her recent scholarship focuses on the relationship between postmodernism and faith. Her first book, Writing Performances: The Stages of Dorothy L. Sayers (Palgrave), was granted the Barbara Reynolds Award for outstanding Sayers scholarship in 2009. Her second book, How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith (IVP Academic) is used as a textbook in college and seminary classrooms throughout North America.
Downing taught Shakespeare for many years at UCLA before taking a position at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, where she is professor of English and film studies. In addition to presentations at academic conferences, her work on Shakespeare has appeared in College Literature and Literature/Film Quarterly.
Anthony Esolen is a professor of English at Providence College. His work includes the Modern Library translations of Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House), Ironies of Faith: The Deep Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature (ISI Books), and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Regnery).
Michael Hanke obtained his PhD and his habilitation at German universities. He has published books on Roy Campbell and John Crowe Ransom; written articles on Renaissance, Romantic, and twentieth-century literature; and edited a sonnet anthology as well as several collections of critical essays, including one on the poetry of Charles Causley.
Mitchell Kalpakgian (PhD, University of Iowa) is professor emeritus of humanities at Wyoming Catholic College. He has taught English literature for over forty years at several other schools: Simpson College (Iowa), Christendom College (Virginia), and Magdalen College (New Hampshire). A contributing editor of New Oxford Review, his articles and book reviews have also appeared in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, the Wanderer, and Saint Austin Review. He is the author of several books: The Marvelous in Fielding's Novels, The Mysteries of Life in Children's Literature, The Lost Arts of Modern Civilization, and An Armenian Family Reunion (a collection of short stories). His latest book is The Lost Arts of Modern Civilization: Hospitality, Conversion, Letter-Writing, the Enjoyment of People, the Art of Pleasing and Courtship (Neumann Press, 2009).
Robert P. Lewis
Robert P. Lewis is emeritus professor of English at Marist College and holds a PhD in Victorian Literature from New York University. He has published articles and reviews in Religion and the Arts and Literature and Theology, and has an essay forthcoming in a volume from Catholic University Press on contemporary Catholic writers. He instituted, and for a decade directed, the Catholic studies program at Marist.
Regis Martin is professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where, in addition to courses on Christ and the Church, he teaches such landmarks of literature as the works of Dante, Eliot, and Flannery O'Connor. The author of several books, including The Last Things and The Suffering of Love, he is married and the father of many children.