The Road to Hell or Salvation? A Matter of Our Own Deliberate Choices


“The Road to Hell” – Chris Rea

"The Road To Hell" - Chris Rea (album cover)
“The Road To Hell” – Chris Rea (album cover)
Great Expectations - Novel Cover
Great Expectations – Novel Cover
Great Expectations - the Movie Poster.
Great Expectations – the Movie Poster.
Scenes from the BBC Movie of the same name.
Scenes from the BBC Movie of the same name.

Essex/Kent - Map Location

The dull and dreary marshes of Kent - in the times of Charles Dickens.
The dull and dreary marshes of Kent – in the times of Charles Dickens.
The tombstone of Philip Pirrip in the flatlands.
The tombstone of Philip Pirrip in the flatlands.
Pip Pirrip - the young, innocent boy and the adult, ambitious man.
Pip Pirrip – the young, innocent boy and the adult, ambitious man.
Magwitch - a wanted convict appears suddenly, as a ghostly figure, from the swamp.
Magwitch – a wanted convict appears suddenly, as a ghostly figure, from the swamp.
Satis House - before it fell into extremes of rack and ruin.
Satis House – before it fell into extremes of rack and ruin.
The cold and lifeless land around the decaying Satis House.
The cold and lifeless land around the decaying Satis House.
Miss Havisham - a once, beautiful and happy bride standing in a dilapidated house.
Miss Havisham – a once, beautiful and happy bride standing in a dilapidated house.
Young Pip was bewildered at the sight of the strange and peculiar woman that was Miss Havisham.
Young Pip was bewildered at the sight of the strange and peculiar woman that was Miss Havisham.
All in readiness for a wedding feast - now covered in layers of dust and dirt.
All in readiness for a wedding feast – now covered in layers of dust and dirt.
Estella - forever arrogant, cold-hearted, contemptuous and aloof.
Estella – forever arrogant, cold-hearted, contemptuous and aloof.

Joe Gargery

Mrs. Joe Gargery - elder sister of Pip.
Mrs. Joe Gargery – elder sister of Pip.
Abel Magwitch - a fiersome prisoner in shackles.
Abel Magwitch – a fearsome prisoner in shackles.
Orlick - jealous and vindictive.
Orlick – jealous and vindictive.
Pip is meant to entertain the young Estella in Satis House.
Pip is meant to entertain the young Estella in Satis House.
London - as it was in 1871.
London – as it was in 1871.
Jaggers - the famous and formidable lawyer.
Jaggers – the famous and formidable lawyer.
Wemmick displayed two sides to his personality. As chief clerk to Jaggers, he was cold, abrupt and wry. At home, he was kindly and cheerful.
Wemmick displayed two sides to his personality. As chief clerk to Jaggers, he was cold, abrupt and wry. At home, he was kindly and cheerful.
Herbert Pocket - Pip's best friend teaches him how to become a "gentleman", one who is respected by the higher echelons of English society.
Herbert Pocket – Pip’s best friend teaches him how to become a “gentleman”, one who is respected by the higher echelons of English society.
Bentley Drummle - future baronet and Estella's arrogant and abusive husband.
Bentley Drummle – future baronet and Estella’s arrogant and abusive husband.
Pip and Estella at the Ball.
Pip and Estella at the Ball.
Pip falls madly in love with Estella.
Pip falls madly in love with Estella.
Pip visits Miss Havisham who he believes is his benefactor all these years.
Pip visits Miss Havisham who he believes is his benefactor all these years.
Miss Havisham tells Pip that he was never destined to marry Estella - Pip is furious with rage and humiliation.
Miss Havisham tells Pip that he was never destined to marry Estella – Pip is furious with rage and humiliation.
Scenes from the Movie.
Scenes from the Movie.
Magwitch, the wanted convict reveals himself as Pip's benefactor.
Magwitch, the wanted convict reveals himself as Pip’s benefactor.
The beautiful quote that ends this classic - truly a novel that is one of its kind!
The beautiful quote that ends this classic – truly a novel that is one of its kind!
The Road to Hell is a Dark and Lonely Road.
The Road to Hell is a Dark and Lonely Road.

Stood still on a highway
I saw a woman
By the side of the road
With a face that I knew like my own
Reflected in my window
Well she walked up to my quarterlight
And she bent down real slow
A fearful pressure paralysed me
In my shadow

She said “Son, what are you doing here?
My fear for you has turned me in my grave”
I said “Mama, I come to the valley of the rich
Myself to sell”
She said “Son, this is the road to Hell”

On your journey ‘cross the wilderness
From the desert to the well
You have strayed upon the motorway to Hell

Well I’m standing by a river
But the water doesn’t flow
It boils with every poison you can think of
And I’m underneath the streetlights
But the light of joy I know
Scared beyond belief way down in the shadows
And the perverted fear of violence
Chokes a smile on every face
And common sense is ringing out the bells
This ain’t no technological breakdown
Oh no, this is the road to Hell

And all the roads jam up with credit
And there’s nothing you can do
It’s all just bits of paper
Flying away from you
Look out world take a good look
What comes down here
You must learn this lesson fast
And learn it well
This ain’t no upwardly mobile freeway
Oh no, this is the road to Hell.

———————————————————-

From Extremes of Poverty and Frugality to the Heights of Ambition and “Great Expectations:” Examining the Masked Face of Deception, Deviousness, Manipulation & Ingratitude: Gaining a Keen Insight into the Darker Side of Humanity.

Around the year 1812, on Christmas Eve, a six-year old orphan named Pip was outside one blistering, cloudy evening walking along the drab and dreary ‘causeway’ – it was, actually, a kind of narrow walkway, winding through the marshes. It was a slippery path that separated the treacherous swamps and marshlands that fell on either side of it. This was the  drab image of Kent, England as it was known in those times and never was there a more dull, gloomy and dreary landscape than the one that stretched endlessly and monotonously into the vast distance, as far as the eye could see.

Pip had just visited the graves of his mother, father and siblings in the village churchyard when he suddenly spied a fearsome, ghostly looking man emerging, from the dark depths of the sluggish and sludge-filled swamp. The apparition, that took gradually the shape of a man, was a wanted, escaped convict named Abel Magwitch. Even though Pip might have guessed so, he did not really know the true identity of this mysterious man. The convict’s clothing was ragged, torn and blood-stained – he was in heavy, iron shackles that tore at the skin of his ankles and he kept groaning as if he was in much pain. Magwitch had been exiled by the courts to New South Wales, a long time ago, under strict orders to never ever to return to England.

Well, as the case would have it, Magwitch seized the little boy’s foot and held him down so tightly – in a hand that was like a vice – it made Pip whimper in pain and sheer fright. Pip had no way of knowing who this fierce-looking man was and he was rather taken-aback and frightened by his sudden appearance, as if coming out of nowhere  in that gloomy and desolate, barren, “flatlands” that was the county of Kent of those days. Magwitch lost no time in threatening to harm Pip if he did not immediately bring him a tool called a file, such as one used by a blacksmith – an implement that could help him grind laboriously through the tight bonds of his iron shackles.

Pip rushed home, in all haste and managed to steal a file from the forge managed by the blacksmith – his brother-in-law, Joe Gargery. Joe was a kind-hearted, considerate, generous and compassionate man who had married Pip’s elder sister. Pip’s elder sister kept a clean and spotless cottage. She often tended to be very hot-tempered, highly abusive, spiteful and insulting – she gave the impression of being vicious but the simple fact remained that she loved dearly her young brother, Pip. She knew what it felt like to be an orphan and to be all alone and at the mercy of society, at large.

Joe was a poor blacksmith; he barely managed to earn enough money to keep the food on the table. Joe was helped in his trade by another orphan named Orlick. Joe, Pip’s sister and Pip himself, lived altogether – it was, in every sense of the word, a very hard, tedious, difficult and thankless life. They had no neighbors for miles around – no one whom they could call a friend. There was no child who lived nearby who could keep Pip company on many a lonely evening – Pip had learned in their simple, poverty-stricken life to manage without such comforts. He knew no better and was as happy as could be expected in such frugal circumstances.

When Pip returned to the causeway that evening, he offered Magwitch the file from the forge of his brother-in-law, Joe. Surprisingly, for so young and innocent a child, he had also had the goodness to bring along a generous piece of meat pie to offer to the famished, hapless convict. Magwitch was a convict and a rough man, it is true, but he never forgot this small act of kindness and generosity, coming from a young and innocent child.

One day, “Uncle Pumblechook” (who was actually Joe’s uncle), was commanded by a wealthy spinster, Miss Havisham to make provisions for a “young boy” – one who would serve as a playmate for her young, adopted daughter, Estella. Miss Havisham lived in the once magnificent Satis House – it had, at one time, been a house that was cloaked in grandeur and splendor – it had once contained all the various luxuries that immense wealth and prosperity can buy. It was, for all intents and purposes, an old Georgian-style house with a massive porch and vast grounds encircling it. It should have been an awesome sight but was, in fact, a sad caricature of “hard times that have passed its owner by.” Pip hesitantly approached it– it was a house that had fallen into such an advanced state of disrepair and neglect that it was dilapidated and falling into extremes of rack and ruin. Its exteriors and interiors were clothed in layers upon layers of dirt, filth and thick dust. All the furniture inside the house was festooned with tons of cobwebs, as if it had not been cleaned or dusted in a long, long time. The “garden” was covered in thick weeds and had heavy, overgrown, untidy shrubs around it. It was not a garden per se – it was, in reality, just like an untended jungle. Life at Satis House had long ago settled into an abrupt and total standstill – it was as if a ‘running’ film had been “paused” mid-way and had purposely and permanently been left in a “paused” position.

 

One could well imagine that Miss Havisham must have certainly been a beautiful woman at one time but when Pip first saw her, it was immediately apparent that the vicissitudes of Time had tricked her of all her beauty and innocence. She was a tall, slim, angular woman and her entire demeanor and bearing, including the slant of her neck, was one that spoke of an aristocratic lineage – it was amply obvious that she hailed from the class of the nobility. She was a “lady” who knew how to exploit the advantages that come from being in the upper levels of a class-ridden, rigid society. She was a relatively young woman – her face still bore the signs and suppleness of skin that only a youthful person can bear. She ‘flitted and floated’ aimlessly around the house and seemed to be totally lost in a dream world of her own. She was eternally clad in a wedding gown and her head was covered permanently in the veil of a soon-to-be bride. Her hair hung about her head in an untidy, disheveled and dirty mop – her hair had turned fully grey in colour, as if her entire being had suffered a severe, unanticipated shock overnight – some kind of terrible tragedy, of a personal nature, had overtaken her entire existence and logical being. Her skin was as pale and white as fragile porcelain and her lips were forever parched, cracked and covered in flaky skin. She had not bathed in a very long time. It was strange of how she did not seem to care at all either for her personal appearance or her personal hygiene and cleanliness.

She was an unpleasant woman and her entire bearing and demeanor spoke of arrogance, contempt and disdain for all the people who did not match up to her lineage and wealth. She was the veritable “ice maiden” – her character and personality lacked all semblance of warmth, love, kindness and caring, so it should not surprise you that her adopted daughter, Estella, was influenced strongly by her “mother” to act, speak and behave likewise. If one looked carefully into the eyes of this bland, lifeless woman, one could sometimes glimpse a sly and cunning streak; a manipulative, devious, cruel and malicious mind – a woman who was “hell-bent” on wreaking all manner of havoc and harm on “any and all” people who had betrayed and “used” her, over the years, for their own personal gains and fulfillment of their own ulterior motives. She was, in reality, not so much lost in her dreams, though she enjoyed giving that impression to one and all. Her mind was never at ease; how could it be? She was constantly thinking of ways to hurt other people directly or indirectly, for all the pain, sadness and sorrow that she had suffered in her life. Such was the image of the enigmatic Miss Havisham.

 

When she first met young Pip, she said softly to him,”Come nearer. Let me look at you. Come close. Look at me. You aren’t afraid of a woman who has never seen the sun since before you were born?” 

 

Pip’s jaw fell open with amazement and shock at the sight of this very strange and mysterious woman and even though he visited Estella regularly, as her playmate, the latter was always rude, abrupt, dismissive, snobbish and cold in her demeanor towards the boy. Pip however was enamored by Estella from the beginning  – he fell madly in love with her, in later years, when he grew to be an adult “gentleman.”

 

————————————————————

 

Just so that you can have a fair idea as to the cold and frigid personality of Miss Havisham, here is a quoted excerpt, from the novel, of the verbal disagreement that Miss Havisham has, one morning, with Estella – her adopted daughter.

 

Miss Havisham: You cold, cold heart! 
Estella: Do you reproach ME of being cold? I learned your lessons. I am what you have made me.
Miss Havisham: So proud!
Estella: Who taught me to be proud? Who told me that daylight would blight me that I may not go out in it and now I cannot? I have never once been unfaithful to you or to your ‘schooling’. I have never shown any weakness that I can charge myself with!
Miss Havisham: Would it be weakness to return respect? To return love?
Estella: ‘Love’? 

———————————————————–

Pip walked into Miss Havisham’s room – he was wide-eyed, in awe and in utter amazement at the sight of this once-magnificent room, falling to  such a state of rack and ruin, all around them.

————————————————————-

QUOTE: Young Pip walks in Miss Havisham’s room:

Miss Havisham: Look closer if you wish.

[Young Pip goes near the butterfly collection.]

Miss Havisham: My brother’s collection. He went to the furthest reaches of the earth in his quest for the purest specimen of beauty. And when he found it, he stuck a pin through its heart. He’s dead now. Cholera. In the tropics. Struck down in his relentless pursuit of beauty. Perhaps it was beauty’s revenge, to stop his heart when he had stopped so many others.


Miss Havisham: Do you think beauty is a destroyer of men, Pip?

Young Pip: I can’t be sure, Miss.

Miss Havisham: We must hope so.” UNQUOTE.

—————————————————————-

 

Then at another time, she told Pip conversationally about beauty and love being the destroyer of all men. She was known to have said:The broken heart. You think you will die, but you just keep living, day after day after terrible day. 

 

—————————————————————————-

  

Miss Havisham had always gone so far as to give Pip the impression that she had chosen him to “look out” for Estella over the passage of the years and Pip  imagined that someday he was expressly intentioned to marry Estella – Miss Havisham’s manner and speech all gave him this distinct impression. However, Pip was only looking into a void of deception, betrayal and disillusionment because it would never be that he – an orphan and the adopted son of a desperately poor blacksmith would ever get the chance to marry the regal and aloof Estella – the adopted daughter of the richest lady in town. Pip was so naïve and innocent, he imagined that he could have what was never meant for him – the strict hierarchy of society; the restrictions imposed by class, breeding, wealth and education forbade such an, “unheard of” union. Pip lacked the social niceties, the etiquette, the refinement and the ‘polish’ of a “gentleman” – it was as simple as that. He ought to have known better but we rarely ever know better, do we? After all, Pip lived in an age when the societal dictates, norms and the opinions of one’s influential compatriots mattered a great deal – he ought not to have felt betrayed when the tables were turned against him, but it was particularly certain attitudes, subtle behavior and distinct impressions that he had been given by Miss Havisham that led Pip to believe otherwise. Besides, Life is never really fair, is it?

 

Pip continued to visit Satis House regularly for the next several months. He pushed Miss Havisham around in her wheelchair, relishing his time with Estella, and he became increasingly hopeful that Miss Havisham meant well in desiring to raise him from his low social standing and give him a gentleman’s fortune. He became so preoccupied with his hopes and ambitions for a better future that he failed to notice that Miss Havisham shamelessly encouraged Estella to torment him, whispering “Break their hearts!” in her ear. Partially because of his raised hopes for his own social standing, Pip began to grow apart from his family and he tended to feel ashamed that Joe was so “common.” One day at Satis House, Miss Havisham offered to help with the papers that would officially make Pip an apprentice to Joe. Pip was devastated when he first realized that she had never meant to make him a gentleman at all. Miss Havisham gave Pip a gift of twenty-five pounds and Pip and Joe go to Town Hall to confirm the apprenticeship officially. Joe and Mrs. Joe took Pip out to celebrate with Pumblechook but Pip was surly and angry, keenly disappointed by this turn in his life.

————————————————————-

 

The next section of the story covers several months and is mostly concerned with Pip’s general development from an innocent boy to an ambitious young man. The themes of ambition and social advancement are central to this development, as Pip increasingly uses his ambiguous relationship with Miss Havisham as a pretext for believing that the old woman intends him to marry Estella. The consequence of Pip’s intensifying social ambition is that he loses some of his innocence and becomes detached from his natural, sympathetic kindness. Earlier on, Pip had sympathized with the convict, despite the threat the man posed to his safety. Now, Pip is unable to sympathize even with Joe, the most caring figure in his life. Because he loves Estella, Pip has come to value what Estella seems to value.

 

Miss Havisham had been jilted on her wedding day (hence the wedding dress and the feast), the woman had raised Estella as a tool of revenge on men, training her to break men’s hearts as her own heart was broken years ago. Unbeknownst to him, Pip is her test case, an experiment to measure the young girl’s prowess at winning the love of men. Toward this purpose, Miss Havisham is delighted by the speed with which Pip falls in love with Estella.

Pip’s realization that he will be bound to Joe’s forge and to his social class after all—is devastating to him; it is the first of a series of disappointments that seem to an inevitable result of Pip’s great expectations.

 

Time passes as Pip began working in Joe’s forge; the boy slowly became a handsome adolescent. He hated working as Joe’s apprentice, but out of consideration for Joe’s goodness, he kept his feelings to himself. As he worked, he often thought that he saw Estella’s face mocking him in the forge, and he longed for Satis House. Joe’s forge worker, Dolge Orlick, made Pip’s life even less pleasant. Orlick was vicious, oafish, and hateful, and he treated Pip with exceptional cruelty.

Pip visited Miss Havisham and learned from her that Estella has been sent to the Continent for her higher studies. Pip was naturally rather upset and dejected – he had not even been informed prior to Estella being sent abroad. On the way home, Pip saw Orlick in the shadows and heard guns fire from the prison ships. When he arrived home, he heard that his elder sister – Mrs. Joe – had been attacked by a mysterious person and that she was now a mute and brain-damaged invalid. Pip’s old guilt resurfaced when he learned that convicts—more specifically, convicts with leg irons that have been filed through—were suspected of the attack on his sister. The detectives who came from London to solve the crime were totally incompetent and the true identity of the attacker remained undiscovered. Themes of guilt and innocence ran powerfully as Pip’s adolescent mind wavered between the commission of right and wrong actions; between his desire to be good and his stark sense of evil.

At the pub one evening, Pip suddenly came into contact with a man who he had met on the stairs of Satis House. The stranger introduced himself as the lawyer, Jaggers, and he went home with Pip and Joe. Here, Jaggers painstakingly explained that Pip would very soon inherit a large fortune. His education as a gentleman would need to begin immediately. Pip was needed to move to London to train on becoming “a gentleman” immediately. Jaggers mentioned that the person who is giving him this fortune wishes to remain secret: Pip could never know the name of his benefactor. Pip could only hope to know who his secret benefactor was, when he turned 21 years old.

 

Pip’s fondest wish had thus been realized and he assumed that his benefactor would undoubtedly be the wealthy Miss Havisham—after all, hadn’t he first met Jaggers at her house? His tutor was to be Matthew Pocket, her cousin. His attitude changed overnight and he became arrogant, disdainful and snobbish – yet flashes of the young Pip who used to be kind-hearted, generous, honest and compassionate kept emerging now and then. Preparing to leave for London, he visited Miss Havisham one last time; based on her excitement and knowledge of the details of his situation, Pip feels even more certain that she is his anonymous benefactor. After a final night at Joe’s house, Pip leaves for London in the morning, suddenly full of regret for having behaved so snobbishly toward the people who love him most.

When Pip moves to London, a new stage in his life began. “This is the end of the first stage of Pip’s expectations.”

Jaggers took Pip to London, where the country boy is, at once, amazed and displeased by the stench and the thronging crowds. Jaggers seems to be an important and powerful man: hordes of people wait outside his office, muttering his name among themselves. It was here that Pip met Jaggers’s cynical, wry clerk, Wemmick. The latter introduced Pip to Herbert Pocket, the son of Pip’s tutor, with who Pip was expected to spend the night. Herbert and Pip took an immediate liking to one another; Herbert was cheerful, sincere and open and Pip felt that his easy good nature is a contrast to his own awkward diffidence. Whereas Pip’s fortune has been made for him, Herbert is an impoverished gentleman who hopes to become a shipping merchant.

Pip requested Herbert to help him learn to become a gentleman, and, after a feast, the two agree to live together. Herbert subtly corrects Pip’s poor table manners and tells him the whole story of the sordid life of Miss Havisham. When she was young, her family fortune was misused by her unruly half brother, and she fell in love with—and agreed to marry—a man from a lower social class than her own. This man convinced her to buy her half brother’s share of the family brewery, which he wanted to run, for a huge price. But on their wedding day, the man never appeared, instead sending a note which Miss Havisham received at twenty minutes to nine—the time at which she later stopped all her clocks. It was assumed that Miss Havisham’s lover was in league with her half brother and that they had split the profits from the brewery sale. At some later point, Miss Havisham had adopted Estella, but Herbert did not know when or where this happened.

 

The next day, Pip visited the unpleasant commercial world of the Royal Exchange before going to Matthew Pocket’s house to be tutored and to have dinner. It was here that Pip first met Bentley Drummle, a future baronet who is oafish, ruthless, arrogant and unpleasant. Joe comes to visit Pip in London. Because Pip worries that Joe will disapprove of his opulent lifestyle and that Drummle will look down on him because of Joe. This attitude causes unease and hidden tensions and Joe’s visit became unnecessarily strained and awkward. Joe tried to interest Pip by telling him the latest news from home: Wopsle, for instance, had become an actor. But Pip became annoyed with him until Joe mentioned that Estella had returned to Satis House and that she wished to see Pip. Pip suddenly felt more kindly toward Joe, but the blacksmith left London before Pip could make amends by improving his behavior. Hoping to see Estella and to apologize to Joe, Pip travelled home, forced to share a coach with a pair of convicts. When he arrived at his hotel, he read a notice in a newspaper from which he learned that Pumblechook was taking credit for his rise in status.

 

Pip’s life in London was extremely busy – full of dinner parties in castles with moats, encounters with strange housekeepers, trips to the theater, etc. He spent way too much money, so his debts just kept on piling up. Occasionally, he would take a break from his London life and would return home to visit Miss Havisham. He was also forced to return home to attend his sister’s funeral. Back at home, though, Pip was once again too ashamed of his poor, “common” brother-in-law Joe to want to be seen in public with him.

Meanwhile, Estella was off touring the world and becoming a lady. She had grown to be even more gorgeous than ever and she has been sent to London so that she could be closer to other eligible bachelors.

On his 21st birthday, Jaggers gave Pip a 500-pound annual allowance (which would be a lot of money back then) and told Pip that his benefactor would soon reveal himself. Pip decided to use this new money to help Herbert secure a job.

Though he continued to long for Estella, she continued to deny him love. Then, one night on his 23rd birthday when it was dark and stormy outside and when Pip was in the midst of thinking about Estella, a stranger arrived, as if out of the blue. This stranger was Pip’s benefactor. This stranger was Abel Magwitch…the CONVICT that Pip had helped when he was only six years old! This ended the second part of Pip’s expectations. He was sorely disappointed that it was Magwitch who was his benefactor all these years and not Miss Havisham as he had always assumed.

Abel Magwitch had been transported to New South Wales where he eventually became wealthy. There was a warrant out for Magwitch’s arrest in England, and he would be hanged by the neck if he was caught. Pip and his friends, Herbert Pocket and Startop hatch a plan for Magwitch to flee by boat. Pip also discovered, to his utter astonishment that Estella was the daughter of Magwitch. Mr. Jaggers had defended Molly in a murder charge and she later became his housemaid in gratitude for his help. It was Molly who gave up her daughter to be adopted by Miss Havisham.

Pip had learned by now that Miss Havisham’s fiancé had jilted her, resulting in her strange behavior and her desire to have revenge on the male sex by using Estella to break Pip’s heart. He confronted Miss Havisham with Estella’s history.

———————————————————

Here is a quoted snippet, from the novel of their last conversation:

Pip: It seems that these past few years,I have been harboring an illusion. More than one, in fact… And you humored them. You led me on…
Miss Havisham: Yes, I led you on.
Pip: Was that kind?
Miss Havisham: Who am I, for God’s sake, that I should be kind? 

——————————————————————–

At the end of the story, Miss Havisham was ridden with intense guilt and shame for her betraying ways and begged for forgiveness from Pip and he accepted her apology even though he had suffered much at her hands. He was suddenly overcome by pity and immense sadness for this pathetic creature who was surrounded by all the luxuries that wealth could buy but one who had enjoyed not a moment’s happiness or peace of mind. In a fit of depression and remorse, Miss Havisham managed to accidentally set her wedding dress on fire. She began to scream in fear like a demented banshee and rushed helter-skelter around the room in an attempt to save herself – her entire being was being quickly eaten away by the hungry flames of the gathering inferno that lapped around her. Pip made a valiant effort to save her but she eventually died from her  extensive injuries, lamenting her manipulation of Estella and Pip.

Miss Havisham had longed dearly for Death, on all the days of her waking life. As we all know, Fate is tricky and often faithless – she is a temperamental, tempestuous woman. When “The Grim Reaper” (Death) finally did come, with a greedy, mocking smile on his skeletal face, to take Miss Havisham’s soul away, this tortured, horrible death was certainly not the way she had imagined she would die.

The fact is simply this – Life is Unfair, it is true and we can do nothing much to change its course – it is the way we react to the unfairness that matters. WE CAN DELIBERATELY CHOOSE TO DO WHATEVER WE WANT IN OUR LIVES BUT WE CANNOT CHOOSE THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR ACTIVE CHOICES. IN THE END, IT IS ALL ABOUT MATURITY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS. MOST PEOPLE CALL IT ‘KARMA’ – SO DO I.

What follows are two very different endings:

The original ending sees Pip hanging out in London one day a few years later when he meets Estella quite by chance. He could see that time had changed her and that she had suffered much. He’d heard that her husband – Bentley Drummle had been abusive. When Drummle died trampled under the hooves of his own horse, she had married a poor doctor. 

In the rewritten ending, Pip visits Satis House once more. There, he sees Estella walking the grounds. She is a widow now, it is true but she has remained as beautiful as ever and she is now regretful of having thrown Pip’s true love away. Pip finds happiness, at long last, in knowing that they would be together forevermore – from here to eternity.

————————————————————–

Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world’s most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. As a prolific 19th Century author of short stories, plays, novellas, novels, fiction and non, during his lifetime Dickens became known the world over for his remarkable characters, his mastery of prose in the telling of their lives, and his depictions of the social classes, mores and values of his times. Some considered him the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awareness to their plight, the downtrodden and the have-nots. He had his share of critics like Virginia Woolf and Henry James, but also many admirers, even into the 21st Century.

Most of his novels were first serialized in monthly magazines as was a common practice of the time. Oliver Twist between 1837 and 1839 was followed by Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), and Barnaby Rudge (1841). Dickens’ series of five Christmas Books were soon to follow; A Christmas Carol (1843),The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man (1848). Dickens had found a readership who eagerly anticipated his next installments.

FROM WIKIPEDIA – the free, online encyclopedia:

QUOTE: “Great Expectations” is Charles Dickens‘s thirteenth novel. It is the second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. According to G. K. Chesterton, Dickens penned Great Expectations in “the afternoon of [his] life and fame.” It was the penultimate novel Dickens completed, preceding Our Mutual Friend.

Great Expectations is a graphic book, full of extreme imagery, poverty, prison ships, “the hulks,” barriers and chains, and fights to the death.It therefore combines intrigue and unexpected twists of autobiographical detail in different tones. Regardless of its narrative technique, the novel reflects the events of the time, Dickens’ concerns, and the relationship between society and man.

Great Expectations has a colorful cast that has remained in popular culture: the capricious Miss Havisham, the cold and beautiful Estella, Joe the kind and generous blacksmith, the dry and sycophantic Uncle Pumblechook, Mr Jaggers, Wemmick and his dual personality, and the eloquent and wise friend, Herbert Pocket. Throughout the narrative, typical Dickensian themes emerge: wealth and poverty, love and rejection, and the eventual triumph of good over evil. Great Expectations has become very popular and is now taught as a classic in many English classes. It has been translated into many languages and adapted many times in film and other media.

—————————————————–

This author’s message to the world is simple but not necessarily very easy to adopt: BE KINDEST AND MOST COMPASSIONATE TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN AND ARE THE MOST UNKIND TOWARD YOU- THEY ARE THE ONES WHO NEED IT MOST.

DON’T BE RASH, CRITICAL AND QUICK IN THE PASSING OF YOUR JUDGEMENT TOWARDS OTHERS. CERTAIN BEHAVIOR DOES NOT EMERGE IN A VACUUM- EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US HAS A STORY TO TELL. EACH PERSON IS UNDERGOING HIS/HER OWN UNIQUE STRUGGLE. WE WOULD ONLY KNOW WHAT MAKES THEM BEHAVE THE WAY THEY DO, IF WE TOOK THE TIME AND EFFORT TO STEP INTO THEIR SHOES. WE WOULD LEARN TO BE MORE KIND AND CONSIDERATE IF WE WERE THE ONES WHO HAD TO UNDERGO THESE OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS OURSELVES. TRY NOT TO BE CRASS AND JUDGMENTAL – WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES  MAKE  CERTAIN PEOPLE BEHAVE IN THE WAY THEY DO. THESE PEOPLE CAN WELL DO WITHOUT YOUR CRITICISM – THEY HONESTLY NEED HELP. YET YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR STAND KNOWN TO THE OPPOSITE PARTY – THEY SHOULD BE MADE AWARE THAT A WRONG HAS BEEN COMMITTED AGAINST THEM – THAT A BOUNDARY OF PROPRIETY HAS BEEN CROSSED THAT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN BREACHED IN THE FIRST PLACE. YOU DON’T NEED TO BE ANYONE’S DOORMAT!

YOU WOULD DO VERY WELL IN NOT RELYING OR DEPENDING ON ANYONE TOO MUCH FOR YOUR OWN HAPPINESS AND PEACE OF MIND – PEOPLE TEND TO BE NOTORIOUSLY UNRELIABLE. MOST PEOPLE WILL NEVER BE AT HAND WHEN YOU NEED THEM MOST.

YOU OUGHT INSTEAD TO GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO EXTEND THE FULL EXTENT OF YOUR LOVE AND COMPASSION TO THOSE WHO DISLIKE YOU INTENSELY. PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT KNOWN THE MEANING OF  TRUE LOVE CANNOT – IN ALL REALITY – BE EXPECTED TO EXTEND LOVE TO OTHERS IN RETURN. LOVE SUCH PEOPLE – THEY WILL THANK YOU INWARDLY FOR YOUR SMALL ACT OF KINDNESS IN AN UNFRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT.

LOVE UNSTINTINGLY AND BE LOVED LIKEWISE IN RETURN – JOIN THE GLORIOUS RANKS OF BENEVOLENCE THAT FORMS THE ETERNAL CIRCLE OF LIFE.  FORGET YOUR DELIBERATE PURSUIT OF THE ROAD TO HELL – THERE IS NO SALVATION TO BE FOUND ON IT!

2 thoughts on “The Road to Hell or Salvation? A Matter of Our Own Deliberate Choices

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s