That after an ugly childhood and gawky adolescence, I would blossom into a legendary beauty, the type of which that would awe strangers and be best described as “lissome” and “shining,” instead of being someone who obsessively watched makeup tutorials on Youtube and yet still manages to go out with one eye made up perfectly and the other one looking like it had been made up by a drunken goat.
Miss Havisham presides over Great Expectations like a great, ill-willed fairy queen. She is, by turns, the novel's resident corpse, its ghost, its fairy godmother, and "the Witch of the place"—a fury dressed up in a tattered, yellowed wedding dress. She stands, in the Dickens pantheon, alongside Scrooge, the Artful Dodger, and Uriah Heep as one of his most memorable characters.
Today in Ms. Frizzle's class we were learning about the body. "What body?" Carlos kept asking anyone who would listen. "Somebody." Ms. Frizzle laughed uproariously every time he said it. "Somebody! That's good, Carlos!" Ms. Frizzle was in a good mood today.
Many readers familiar with Charles Dickens' Great Expectations are aware that he originally wrote an ending where Pip and Estella meet years after their painful parting only to solemnly shake hands and go their separate ways again:
It was four years more, before I saw herself.
The existence of the authors suggested a way to live and work within institutions that didn’t involve giving up parts of myself, and their books suggested that fear was not an inappropriate response to the world — that there was real violence at play, violence felt not just by me, but by everyone.
Great Expectations is a book about a boy who is never allowed to finish a meal in peace, and a woman who stays in wedding-dress shape for her entire life. It's pretty good. Here are all of the upsetting meals that are served in it.
Sometimes, when I want to find out whether or not my students have actually read their assigned Emma pages, I mention that I’ve been compared to Miss Woodhouse. Those who have read past the first page look absolutely horrified, and their expression is a perfect reflection of mine when I came to the sentence that gave me the first inkling the man I was convinced was my destiny was not.
If there's one thing life has taught me, it's that high school literature teachers love convincing you that Middle English is close enough to Modern English for you to stumble along without a translation through Chaucer's prologue, and I'm here to tell you that is some nonsense and you don't have to stand for it.