Reading Great Expectations
In this chapter we return to the focus upon a specific novel, and consider some of the different ways of reading it suggested by asking to what genre or kind of writing it belongs. In the first of the text-based chapters in this book, Chapter Two on Pride and Prejudice, we offered a ‘reading’ of the novel that highlighted the construction of character as a central part of the moral aim of realist fiction. In Chapter Three, on Frankenstein, we considered another way of thinking about novels, in terms of realist strategies employed to represent psychic or even mythic ‘truths’. Different readings or interpretations of this ‘challenge’ to the mainstream realist novel were proposed, drawing on feminist and post-colonial ideas about literary forms.