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University Degree: Charles Dickens

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  1. How does Dickens tell the story in Chapter 27 of Great Expectations?

    This contrast in intelligence and perceived "intelligence" is one made more evident by the opening of the chapter, which also serves to introduce the idea of order and disorder that underlies the chapter as a whole. The letter, much that like that which Pip receives upon the death of Mrs Joe, carries both the weight of information that throws him back towards his past, but also the weight of detachment that further distances him from it- especially since Joe asks if he "were allowed" to see Pip, as reported by Biddy's own hand.

    • Word count: 1247
  2. Explore the implications of the title "Great Expectations".

    when Joe visits Satis House, and complains to Biddy that "I am not at all happy as I am. I am disgusted with my calling and with my life", the ambition with which he so fervidly wishes to learn to read under Matthew Pocket, and to become "a gentleman" overtaking what he previously refers to as "a good natured companionship" with Joe and a description of Biddy, just a few paragraphs previous to his outburst, as "so clever". However, by the end of the novel, Pip's idealism has been replaced to an extent with a grounded compassion for life, and a partial realisation that it is not a crime to say "I work pretty hard for a sufficient living,

    • Word count: 2715
  3. "How does Charles Dickens in the early part of Oliver Twist use the character Oliver to present his view of an unfair and corrupt world?"

    It wasn't Oliver's fault that he was brought up in a workhouse, he was an orphan and had to do strictly what the beadle and Mrs Mann told him to do. Workhouses were for the poorest in society, who could no longer afford to live outside. The orphans were under strict discipline in the workhouses which had to be obeyed. They had little food which was the same everyday and they worked a lot. In 1834, a new Poor Law was introduced.

    • Word count: 1733
  4. A literary and linguistic comparative study of three treatments

    Finally, Eliot's epic poem, The Wasteland, has at its core - amongst an array of other themes, such as religious and sexual depravity - the emptiness and monotony of life in the city. PART ONE - THE LOVELESS RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN CITY LIFE From a first reading of each of the three texts, it is apparent that the majority of relationships depicted within the city are both loveless and futile. Most often, these meaningless relationships are in contrast with the stereotype of the idyllic life of the countryside, and reinforce the stereotype of the debased existence that characterizes life in the city, where relationships are predominantly shown to be empty and self-fulfilling.

    • Word count: 3802
  5. Use of setting in 'The Tale of Two Cities'

    to the plight of the working classes and the Peasants. In the chapter 'The Period' it starts off with the very famous quote 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times' which meant good times for the rich people until the revolution and the bad times for the poor people. Dickens highlights the quality of life which the rich people were having then he compares this with the bad conditions of the working classes and peasants, also the common people were very unfortunate. The skill of the writer is shown by contrasting the words 'best' 'worst' 'light' 'darkness' and 'despair' to reflect images of good and evil that will happen to the characters and situations throughout the novel.

    • Word count: 1185
  6. What are the distinctive features of informal talk that can be gleaned from the conversation between Pip and Phyllis, a married couple from southeast England in Audiocassette 3, Band 5?

    the term is used more loosely and draws on a wide range of examples from different contexts to try and give some sense of the diversity of ways in which English is used in everyday talk. Informal talk is viewed as rather disorderly, pointing out its inexplicit use of language, random subject matter, general lack of planning and high proportion of 'errors'. Due to its informal nature, we often hear lots of bantering in between dialogue. Members addressed each other on a first name basis and there is bound to be slang terms used and sometimes even expletives especially when there is shared interest like in football, and when there is a certain degree of accommodation among friends.

    • Word count: 2231
  7. Bakhtin claims that chronotopes "are the organising centres for the fundamental narrative events of a novel ... It can be said without qualification that to them belongs the meaning that shapes the narrative" how accurate an assessment is this?

    The plots of Greek Romance novels are all very similar to that of Dickens's, composed of the same essentials that can be inter-changed, which links in well with Propp's theory of Morphology, especially as Bakhtin keeps tracing the chronotopes back to ancient folklore. On the other hand Dickens's characters do not correspond as well with Propp due to their complexity which means they fit into several of the devised functions. At a rather basic level, it is possible to fit the plot of Nicholas Nickleby into the structure of the Greek Romance, although one significant aspect crucial to the plot of the romance is the love story.

    • Word count: 4483
  8. In conclusion one of Dickens' purposes of writing 'Hard Times' was to make a social comment about the idea of utilitarianism in the teaching system

    Gradgrind is so obsessed with teaching facts he even brings up his own children on facts. "This is the principle on which I bring up my own children". Mr. Gradgrind sees the children as little plants growing "plant nothing else and root out everything else" he only wants children to learn facts he doesn't want to let them have any imagination. Mr. Gradgrind doesn't even let his own children have any imagination and doesn't even let them have nursery rhyme books or toys instead they are only allowed factual things.

    • Word count: 1906
  9. "Enduring Love" How appropriate is the title of the novel?

    There are two types of love themes running through this novel, one of obsession and one of pure love. The one of obsession is obviously the love Jed feels for Joe and the pure love is that of Clarissa and Joe. As Jed becomes more and more fixated on Joe, Joes relationship with Clarissa increasingly dwindles until the point where they call it a day and end their relationship. Early on in the novel Joe says "Lately I'd had the idea that Clarissa's interest in these hypothetical letters [of Keats] had something to do with our own situation, and with her conviction that love that did not find its expression in a letter was not perfect."

    • Word count: 1204
  10. "Great Expectations Illustrates the danger of seeing status and money as the most worthwhile aims in life" - Discuss.

    In characters such as Herbert and Mathew Pocket and, to an extent, Wemmick and Jaggers, we are presented with benevolent and harmless forms of class and privilege. Yet juxtaposed against this we have Pumblechook, Magwitch and Pip. Failing to realize what truly counts, these characters delude themselves into believing that by assuming the outward trappings of gentility they will become gentlemen. However, by making wealth and status their most worthwhile aims, they succeed only in becoming grotesque and quite repugnant.

    • Word count: 885
  11. "How does Dickens teach both Scrooge and the reader a moral lesson in "A Christmas Carol".

    Scrooge is seen as miserly because he doesn't let Bob Cratchit have a decent fire. "; and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel, the master 'predicted that it would be necessary for them to part." Scrooge thinks he has power of his employees and the poor as when two friendly gentlemen, that ask him for money for the poor, visit him, he turns them away and asks. "Are there no prisons?" Dickens' life taught him how appalling life was when he was born and tries to teach us to be thankful for our lives and to be charitable.

    • Word count: 2605
  12. Great Expectations Essay.

    Pip, however, receives all the money that Magwitch has assigned him without knowing from whom or for what reason he is acquiring it. On discovering the truth, Pip is devastated because he had previously believed that it was, in fact, Miss Havisham who had been his patron, and that she had meant for him to marry Estella - the cold, contemptuous girl who Pip fell in love with during his time at Satis House. Horrified, Pip realises that he is not meant to marry Estella at all, and believes that Miss Havisham has had nothing to do with his "Great Expectations".

    • Word count: 1538
  13. A Gentleman within and the Gentlemen without… The complexity of moral growth in Great Expectations

    Joe is comfortable with who he is and while he desires to learn from Pip once he becomes educated, he does not seek to be anything other than what he is. This, ideally, would have been a priceless lesson for Pip to learn, as it would have spared Pip from losing himself in a complex and corrupt world. Sadly, yet pivotally to the intrigue of the plot, it is only once Pip realises the error in his ways that he can see the true gentleman in Joe.

    • Word count: 1469
  14. What connections are established between class and masculinity on texts from the module?

    This quote portrays the idea of the gentleman at the time of publication; a gentleman shouldn't have to work for their money and should have time for leisure activities. Dickens's however takes a different approach to expose gentlemanliness. In Great Expectations, there are two different models of the gentleman, the first is based on social status or class, this is measured by etiquette, dress and speech as well as the standing of ones family. Eagleton and Pierce (1979) state, "The novel not only expresses class as a question of personal identity but as an aspect of social organisation and historical change" (page 10).

    • Word count: 2021
  15. The Meaning of Symbolism and Imagery in the Writings of Zora Neale Hurston.

    Gold is used frequently throughout the short story as a symbol of social status and greed. Otis D. Slemmons is respected by Joe in the beginning of the story and depicted as being of great importance because of his gold teeth, a five-dollar gold piece for a stickpin and a ten-dollar gold piece on his watch chain. Slemmons character is later disemboweled because he is caught in the act of having sex with Joe's wife. The gold symbolizes mistrust, misfortune, greed and falsehood after Slemmons, Missie May and the gold are revealed.

    • Word count: 1132
  16. Characterization in Dickens' Hard Times.

    As an aristocratic member of society, one can become stuck in the furrows of life when hours of daily labour are not a part of that person's regimen. Here is an example of some of the extravagant escapades that Harthouse embarks on, yet still finds life tedious: Now, this gentleman had a younger brother of still better appearance than himself, who had tried life as a Coronet of Dragoons, and found it a bore; and had afterwards tried it in the train of an English minister abroad, and found it a bore; and had then strolled to Jerusalem, and got bored there; and had then gone yachting about the world, and got bored everywhere (Dickens 95).

    • Word count: 1122
  17. What appeared to you to be Dickens' major concern in 'Hard Times?' How does he present these to the reader?

    these middle-class characters are viewed from a singular perspective, the perspective of those at the bottom of the social and economic system. Though Dickens' characters tend to be well developed and presented with some kind of human trait, the stereotypical figure of arrogance and demanding Bounderby fails to accurately capture the motivations and attitudes of the typical businessman of the day and is an indication of the author's political motives. Bounderby of Coketown represents the utilitarian attitude and, as such, is the villain of story and the target of Dickens' political argument.

    • Word count: 1279
  18. A Christmas Carol - My essay is about Scrooge who changes from a good to a bad man after three ghosts visit him, the ghost of Christmas past, present and future.

    (This was his punishment) Marley told Scrooge that three ghosts are going to visit you, the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. Scrooge was a greedy man because whenever people came to him for donations he gave them nothing. Nobody liked him even the poor didn't ask him for money. Bob Crachit worked for Scrooge. Scrooge treated him badly and only paid him fifteen shillings a week. Bob Crachit didn't hate Scrooge, he had a bit of feelings for him, Bob Crachit had a big family, but he only got fifteen shillings a week for his wage which wasn't a lot so Bob Crachits family didn't get enough to eat.

    • Word count: 1604
  19. Oppression and frenzy: causes of the French Revolution.

    In France, before the revolution, the social structure had two extremes. The peasants hated the aristocrats for their power and money. For the aristocracy it seemed like the best of times but many lived in a world insulated from what the reality was for the poor: hunger, and unemployment. On the other end of the spectrum, the lower classes did not have any civil liberties and were not allowed to participate in government. This is revealed by a man in a crowd who yells to Monseigneur, "I devote you, to the Devil!"2 In other words, the aristocrats had "sealed their graves" because they were too cruel towards the lower classes.

    • Word count: 1650
  20. Describe the attitude and values underlining beliefs of Mr Briggs and Mrs Kay in text 23 'Our day Out'.

    Mr Briggs has much more stricter views and ideas on how a school trips should be conducted. Mrs Kay realises and is very aware that none of the children are interested in anything other than enjoying themselves and since the children are, in her words, 'rejects since the day they came into the world' so what is the point in trying to make them learn.

    • Word count: 583
  21. Pip's problems come from arrogance. It is only when he learns humility that he can really become a better person. Do you agree?

    Primarily, Pip's lack of self-confidence and lowly impression of himself are the most notable aspects of his early childhood. Under the tyranny of Mrs Joe, Pip is constantly made to feel inferior and has his self-esteem destroyed with snipes such as "in a low reproachful voice (she said) "Do you hear that? Be grateful.". Not only is he physically abused in the household having been "brought up by hand" but also there is clearly a lack of adequate love and affirmation in his childhood years, reinforced with the absence of a mother and father. Though Pip is able to find some refuge in his friend and father figure Joe, it seems hardly enough to build his self-worth.

    • Word count: 954
  22. Does the nineteenth century social problem novel document reality in order to educate readers?

    Although the expression 'condition of England' is a general one, it refers to some quite specific events: the economic slump of the beginning of the 1840s which had left many out of work and hungry, and the growing influence of Trades Union and Chartism, a social movement proposing various political changes, which was seen as dangerously radical in outlook. There was a growing hostility between industrial manufacturers and their hands, exacerbated by poor standards of working and living in the towns, and mutual mistrust.

    • Word count: 2135
  23. Epic storytelling in Disney's universe - Carl Barks and Duckburg

    In 1942 he drew the comic book Donald Duck finds pirate gold together with Jack Hannah, the first full-length comic book to star Donald. Working on this story, Barks realised that he preferred the calm of his own home to the busy environment at Burbank, and this, together with a sinus problem brought on by the air conditioning, led him to resign. He bought a chicken farm, but soon wanted to get back to drawing. At the same time the company that held the license for use of the Disney characters in comic books, Western Printing and Lithography, were looking for artists.

    • Word count: 3087
  24. What is the relationship of the present-at-hand to the ready-to-hand? How is the present-at hand prior? How is the ready-to-hand prior?

    But in-order-to screw or unscrew one would have to possess not only the screwdriver, but a screw also. This example shows that the relationship of equipment to other equipment is essential. Equipment is what is it is by belonging to a "referential totality".3 The totality, however, doesn't go on forever, but rather ends in a "for-the-sake-of", an ultimate end. Our Being's, or as Heidegger puts it, our Dasein have a fundamental relationship with equipment. Moreover, equipment is realized as what it is only through its interaction with Dasein. Though Dasein has no properties in the form of subject/object predication, it does have modes of being.

    • Word count: 1746
  25. "The female characters in Great Expectations have the greatest influence on Pip's development" - discuss.

    Her highly unfavourable "bring him up by hand," regime destroys his self-worth, forcing him to develop a real sense of self-resentment. "Hear that, be grateful to those who brought you up by hand," is a deeply ironic statement, for it is Mrs Joe he owes least gratitude to, considering the negative impact she has on Pip's young life. The physical and verbal abuse she expels on him leads to a lack of adequate love and affirmation. "I'm a common labouring boy, my hands are coarse and my boots are thick...generally I'm in a low lived bad way," is a bleak outlook that comes from a young boy who has had his self-worth quashed under his sister's tyranny.

    • Word count: 1124

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