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Compare 'The Darkness Out There' by Penelope Lively and 'Great Expectations'.

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Jenny Grindley 10,6 Compare 'The Darkness Out There' by Penelope Lively and 'Great Expectations' (Chapter 8) By Charles Dickens. 'The Darkness Out There' written by Penelope Lively and 'Great Expectations' written by Charles Dickens are both pieces of prose contemporary to their writing date and audience. Similarly, the examples of text are moral tales which allow the audience to understand and comprehend the reality of humanity. Charles Dickens is one of the world's most acclaimed classic novelists, contemporary to his era but considered old fashioned to a modern audience; his novels are generally extremely detailed and tackle society issues for an increasingly literate audience in the 19th century. Lively on the other hand is a 20th century writer best known to a young audience as a children's author; although she also writes short stories such as 'The Darkness Out There' for adult genre. Many of her stories including 'The Darkness Out There' focus on drawing out the unusual and abnormal from what sees like the normal. Both pieces of text have underlining differences between them although they have the same broad overview of characters; in both texts there is an old woman character, and two young people who learn moral lessons about both themselves and people in general. The language used in both pieces of text is contemporary to their writing date. In ' The Darkness Out There' Lively uses language devices to portray the characters' age and personality; "Oh, Lor, you mean he", the slang language used is relevant and recognisable of a teenager. Lively also changes her language in order to portray a much older character; "Tea, my duck", the language used by Lively is stereotypical of an old-fashioned grandma character. Similarly, Charles Dickens uses language in order to give the reader a deeper insight into the character's personalities and morals; "Pip, ma'am", this creates the impression of a respectful character which Pip is, and also ties in with the era of the novel. ...read more.


The setting is overall very relevant to the meanings behind the characters and the moral of the overall text. The setting in chapter 8 is cold and unwelcoming with eerie surroundings like Miss Havisham's character. Mrs Rutter and Miss Havisham are both the main characters in the two pieces of text as they instigate the overall morals of both pieces. Similarly the two women both believe that because they have lost love they can destroy life. In the case of Mrs Rutter this is literally true as she left men to die. In the case of Miss Havisham however, she destroys life through emotions rather than physical harm. Lively's depiction of Mrs Rutter at the start of 'The Darkness Out There' is very stereotypical; " ' Tea my duck ' ", " ' Well, you're a pretty girl ' ", very complementary and kind and also visually very stereotypical; "a cottage loaf of a woman". The imagery and descriptions of Mrs Rutter is ironic as at the end of the story we find that she is the opposite of a stereotypical old woman. In 'Great Expectations' however, Dickens is much more direct in his portrayal of Miss Havisham as being callous and bitter; " ' Begger him ' ", Dickens' illustration of Miss Havisham is extremely strong and effective. In comparing Mrs Rutter with Miss Havisham it is clear that there are many similarities between them both. Mrs Rutter in 'The Darkness Out There' appears largely to be oblivious to, and dismisses others feelings; " 'well I expect you get all sorts, in your club thing ' ", this portrays Mrs Rutter as offensive and inconsiderate towards others. Miss Havisham also is depicted as being dismissive of the feelings of others; " ' come again after six days. You hear? ' ", this portrayal of Miss Havisham as being resentful and disregarding of others is mirrored throughout the entire novel. ...read more.


Kerry is also much more angry an unaccepting of Mrs Rutter, whereas Pip is much more considerate towards Miss Havisham. In conclusion, 'The Darkness Out There' and 'Great Expectations' are both moral tales contemporary to their writing date and audience. The settings in both pieces of text are similar in some aspects such as isolation and living in the past, however the setting in 'The Darkness Out There' of a warm and cosy cottage and 'Great Expectations' of a deserted and cold house differ. Despite the differing settings they both still relate back to the morals behind the pieces of text. Both pieces of text have very similar themes such as the supernatural and hidden secrets which provide irony and relate to he morals of the text. Language is probably the most differing device between 'Great Expectations' and 'the Darkness Out There' as Penelope Lively uses short, simple sentences and dialogue to portray characters, settings and atmospheres in 'The Darkness Out There'. Charles Dickens on the other hand uses long, complicated sentences and description rather than dialogue to portray characters, settings and atmosphere in 'Great Expectations' There are many similarities between the characters in the two pieces of text, both having the some character base - one old woman character and two young people characters. Mrs Rutter and Miss Havisham both believe that because they have lost love they have the right to destroy life. Both characters are portrayed in different ways in order to portray irony and hidden morals within the pieces of text. Both Estella and Sandra portray stereotypical images of superior and image - conscious teenage girls. They are very similar and help to draw the morals of he texts together in their behaviour with different characters. Similarly, Pip and Kerry effective characters, and are portrayed as being good - natured and caring. They also add to the morals and ironies of the texts. Overall, 'Great Expectations' and 'The Darkness Out There' are effective moral tales with hidden meanings and ironies expressed through characters, setting and language devices. ...read more.

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