I have been bent and broken, but — I hope — into a better shape.

Charles Dickens

Though his classic novels — including “Great Expectations” and “David Copperfield” — are now widely beloved, Charles Dickens’ real-life fortune ebbed and flowed similarly to those of his fictional characters. After a relatively comfortable childhood, family financial trouble drove him to work in a factory at just 12 years old. Those years, as well as his later work as a law clerk and court journalist, shaped the stories he would go on to write. Dickens’ work often focuses on the difficulties of poverty, especially for children, but also on how people can make the best of their circumstances. In this quote from “Great Expectations,” the beautiful Estella speaks of resilience and reminds us that we are often stronger for the challenges we face.