How do Charles Dickens in 'Nicholas Nickelby' and Laurie Lee in 'Cider with Rosie' present school life?
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How do Charles Dickens in 'Nicholas Nickelby' and Laurie Lee in 'Cider with Rosie' present school life? Nicholas Nickelby written in 1838 by Charles Dickens explores the life of a young school assistant at "Dotheboys Hall" and gradually explains how disgusted he felt. Laurie Lee later wrote an imaginary autobiography "Cider with Rosie" which is not just a factual account of the author's life but also accounts of events and incidents. This reflected school life in a different, vivid approach because you got his personal opinion. Obviously, both authors would show differences mainly due to the difference in time. Both Dickens and Lee were born in different eras therefore studied at school at different times. Not only was time a major difference, but the types of texts written; Dickens wrote a novel and Lee an autobiography and taking into consideration-originality. "Cider with Rosie" and "Nicholas Nickleby" both are diverse because they are written by different authors but Lee's diversity is shown mainly by it being first person, yet everyone has their own style of writing. Nicholas cared about the other children but Laurie just cared only about himself. He did not hate school because of schoolwork but because he did not have to do any, which was contradictory compared Laurie. School life portrayed differently considering the eras of their birth therefore having an age gap and attending school at a contrasting period. Charles Dickens's educational system from early nineteenth (1812 -1870)
There are people/characters in "Nicholas Nickelby" such a boy called "Smike" who is a half-witted inmate of Squeers's establishment who is treated like a slave. He is the oldest and does not have to do any schoolwork but is treated worse to the rest because at one time, he "received" a "box on the ear" from Mr.Squeers presuming to contradict his mistress. Mrs.Squeers is as bad as Mr.Squeers because she does not care about the children apart from their own spoilt son-Master.Squeers. She is also involved with the scandal of running the school as a business. Lee introduces his friends "Poppy, Jo, Vera and Spadge" who are all in his class and seems like they are his only friends. He only ever mentions them therefore, we have an impression they are the closest ones he has. He does not like Vera and decides it would be funny to "hit her over the head" with a stick. He describes Poppy and Jo as "the two blonde girls" and Spadge the rebellious class "bully." Spadge was the boy who decided to mock the teacher "Crabby.B." another character was the sixteen year old assistant who Laurie liked very much "the pretty, gracious lady." Laurie has friends but people who he can confide and communicate with a positive, friendly atmosphere." In "Nicholas Nickleby", Nicholas has no one to talk to and tell his problems to, except Smike who he eventually speaks to because Nicholas feel sympathetic towards him asking "you are shivering?"
A lot happened but at Laurie Lee's time of education, more major changes happened. A Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget had a major on the educational theory in the early twentieth century. He wrote extensively on the development of thought and language patterns on children. He believed that children, by exploring their environment, create their own ides/thoughts, or intellectual conceptions of reality. He thought that human intelligence developed in stages, a person's understanding of the world in a new and more complex way. This switched the way children were taught, and how and why people cared about education compared to before, in the early nineteenth century. In conclusion, it goes to shows how much of a disadvantage Nicholas was at because Laurie had the chance to have an education but did not even bother. He had no working attitude or effort and frequently "got into trouble." as you can see that there are a lot of similarities, differences, and facts, which I have expressed. One thing to remember is that they were written at different times and that is why there are so many comparisons. As time moves on, education (school life/systems) and language changes, develops and that is what you have to remember because it is important. I am delighted that I was not born or had to study at school in Dickens's era; I am counting myself as a very lucky person. I mean, who would not? Sonal Dhokia
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