George Silverman's Explanation by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I first read the story, I thought if it had been written about a woman, self-sacrificing her whole life, putting others before herself it wouldn’t have been written. Women were supposed to be self-sacrificing. Literature is full of them. In fact, women, as main characters with a strong sense of self worth, were usually the main characters just because of that trait. Most women in literature were in “supporting roles.”
What we have here, I think, is a story about a very introverted young man with absolutely no self-esteem being mistreated and misunderstood his whole life. The thing that is novel about George is that he didn’t become a twisted, evil tutor and minister. He was actually a very nice person who was beloved by the countless young men he tutored and very much loved by Adelina and Mr. Granville.
At first, I was a little upset about this story. It seemed to me to have a horrible ending with poor George being not only left off Santa Claus’ list but God’s list as well. Then I started writing my thoughts and I realized that he probably was much happier than I thought.
[ Of course, he still had to go and find another situation which, in his life, would probably have been tainted by Lady Fareway’s vituperation and made exceedingly difficult, but since Dickens didn’t go there, I prefer to believe that one of those young men he tutored would have found out about his situation and given him a nice little parish with about 100 sweet gentle people. He could live out his life there and Mr. & Mrs. Granville would bring all their little kiddies to visit regularly and his old students would call on him from time to time.]