Charles Dickens is 200 years old this year, with TV concentrating on his works, as evidenced by the recent BBC adaptation of Great Expectations. Do you think that the works of Dickens still have something to say about society today? And which is you favourite work of Dickens?
Dickens is absolutely relevant today! All his characters can be matched with familiar modern day characters. Uriah Heep, Magwich, Mr Murdstone, Wackford Squeers, Bill Sykes, Tattycoram, Quilp. All wonderful characterisations. All good, edifying reads. Funny, dramatic, sentimental, marvelous. My favorites are Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Christmas Carol, The Old Curiosity shop and Great Expectations. Incidentally, try to scrub the memory of the last adaptation on the BBC from your mind. It was all wrong. Watch David Lean's 1946 version. Mountains better.
I have the David Lean version on dvd, and agree it is much better than the latest TV adaptation. I don't know which is truer to the book, but I found myself comparing the BBC's Great Expectations to the John Mills one, and was very disappointed.
No, the latest BBC version is not true to the book in several important ways. The director has failed to address the themes of social inheritance and of the effects that key moments in your youth have on you as an adult. He has also decided against keeping any of the brilliant humor which made for light relief in all Dickens' novels, especially ones like this, which have essentially tragic themes and need moments of mirth to make them bearable. It's worth reading Peter Hitchens' blog on the subject actually.