The Effects of Wishes

564 Words3 Pages
Throughout history people have been mislead to believe that happiness can only be found through achieving what you think you want. For example, it is rare to read a fairy tale that doesn’t involve a hero obtaining his goals and living happily ever after with the one he loves. Few authors have dared to write about the reality of life in fear that the response from audiences who are used to happy endings would be negative. Charles Dickens and James Hilton are two authors that took that chance and each produced a novel that did not necessarily have a happy ending. Charles Dickens illustrates in his book, Great Expectations, and James Hilton presents in his novel, Lost Horizon, that life is full of surprises, and happiness is not always found in the things we think we want. The hero in each of these novels is on a quest for happiness. Pip, from Great Expectations, believes that if he were to become a gentleman he would be content with his life. On the contrary, Conway in Lost Horizon is searching for peace of mind and where he can think without disturbance. Each character’s quest brings them to the realization that there are consequences for every action, and obtaining your goals is difficult when enduring the obstacles of life. The main objective of Pip and Conway’s quests is to obtain a talisman. Dicken’s Pip is looking for materialistic items such as money, while Hilton’s Conway is looking for knowledge that can last you a lifetime. Though both characters end up achieving their own talisman, it proved to not be the only key for happiness as expected. Throughout the quest for the each talisman, a mentor guided each of the heroes. In Great Expectations, his benefactor, Magwitch, guides Pip during his quest by providing him with money when needed. The High Lama enlightened Conway with knowledge and gave him guidance, in Lost Horizon, therefore filling the position of a mentor towards him. Both mentors fulfilled the main characters with their talismans, but it was up to the heroes to determine what was best for their life. The settings in the novels were different and therefore affected the main characters in various ways. The setting for Great Expectations was nineteenth century England where money was a major part of society. Pip felt obligated to obtain money in order to marry and live an exceptional life.

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