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AS and A Level: Charles Dickens

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  1. Coketown described by Charles Dickens - Criticism

    They are just servers to the town and they aren't even considered the characters of the passage. They are dehumanized and instead the buildings are the characters that take over. The buildings seem to literally take over the human qualities and are given priority and superiority to the people. There is no change or difference between one building and another. 'The Jail might have been the infirmary; the infirmary might have been the jail'. There is a sense of sameness and uniformity. Other people get life out of what Coketown sacrifices. The people of this town are stuck with this lifestyle forever as there doesn't seem to be any way out if it.

    • Word count: 512
  2. Compare chapter one of Great Expectations(TM) in which Pip first meets the convict, with chapter thirty nine, when the convict returns.

    Although we see Magwitch has emotions in chapter thirty nine, he is the complete opposite in chapter one. Here he is shown as savage and terrifying. Magwitch even points out Pip's 'fat cheeks' and threatens to 'eat em'. This emphasised to the reader how vicious he is. He may be shown as ferocious in chapter one but chapter thirty nine is deeply contrasted as the reader notices how much Abel has changed. In chapter one Abel wears 'coarse grey' with 'no hat' and 'broken shoes' which tells the Victorian reader immediately that he is not a gentleman. These images, as well as the 'great iron on his leg' also tell the reader that the man is a convict

    • Word count: 1381
  3. How does Dickens use setting to convey the mood in the opening chapters of Great Expectations?

    Dickens begins Great Expectations with Pip at his family's gravestones in the churchyard. Despite the fact the scene is largely about death, the mood is briefly lifted by Pip's light-hearted description of the graves before him. This informs us that Pip has experienced loss and death at an early age, and may be able to cope in certain situations better than other children of his age; however, this could also show that Pip is lacking in certain life experiences and this may affect him and his choices negatively in his future.

    • Word count: 1152
  4. Free essay

    Presentation of Estella

    This simile also connotes that she is bright and shining. Stars are seen in the night sky so they are bright and the shine in the dark, which Estella is described as doing when she walks down the 'dark passage'; this obviously represents the night sky. A star is also known to be a guide (in circumstances such as Christianity). Estella is intermittent in where she appears in the novel; this is in contrast to other characters such as Joe, who is based in the deep marshes and Jaggers who is always in London.

    • Word count: 1287
  5. Trace the importance of duty and loyalty as demonstrated by at least three characters in the novel.

    I should be more unhappy and self-reproachful now than I can tell you." (p180) Lucie sees it her duty as a daughter to look after Dr. Manette and throughout the book she demonstrates her loyalty to him "She had been true to her duties. She was truest to them in the season of trial, as all the quietly loyal and good always will be." (p264) Lucie also shows loyalty when her husband, Darnay is imprisoned. Throughout his imprisonment, Lucie goes to stand outside the prison for two hours each day hoping that her husband will be able to see her.

    • Word count: 1631
  6. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

    Dickens creates sympathy for Pip by describing him as an orphan. Pip states" I never saw my father or my mother and never saw any likeness of either of them". We immediately feel sorry for him as he is just a child and he is on his own in a dark, bleak graveyard and he is cold and scared. Another way Dickens creates sympathy from the reader is by saying that the only information Pip has about his parents is from their tombstone.

    • Word count: 848
  7. Discuss how Dickens creates sadness in Book the Second

    They attempt to recruit Stephan but he will not join them as he had swore not to get involved in anything like that to Rachel. Slackbridge refers to him as "Judas" and a traitor who has "deserted his post" and "sold his flag". Through words he attacks Stephan, accusing him of not wanting to be associated in the "gallant stand for freedom and for right". Stephan tries to defend himself, saying that the union will likely do them "more harm then good". He also says that he can't because of reasons of his own such as the promise he made.

    • Word count: 2621
  8. Using Chapters 1-3 of 'Hard Times', discuss Dickens presentation and criticism of the Education for the Labouring class

    Another method that he uses is making the characters stand out through their names to symbolise their personality. Throughout chapters 1-3, Dickens emphasises on the word 'facts' because he wants to continuously present and criticise the education for the labouring class. 'Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life...' This is the opening sentence of the novel and straight away you have a vague idea of the extremism of teaching. Also the word 'fact' is in capital letters and this signifies the importance of learning nothing but facts.

    • Word count: 1046
  9. the portrayal of children and family relationships in A Christmas Carol by Dickens

    to the full In the first Cratchit scene the younger Cratchits are dancing, "the young cratchets danced around the table", dickens condones the children's actions and is happy they are having fun. Dickens uses imagery to involve us in the Christmas meal and make us see what they are eating, Dickens also shows how close families are no matter how troubled, using a Christmas pudding; "nobody said or thought it was at all small pudding for a large pudding". The size doesn't cross the family's mind and as long as they are all together they are happy.

    • Word count: 1141
  10. How does Dickens use language in chapter 50 of Oliver Twist to show the death of Bill Sikes?

    words are the worst of the worst you can describe something as. He is describing the derelict ness and the poverty of Jacobs Island in this time by also describing the jobs and even the unemployment of the area, jobs such as ballast heavers, coal whippers and brazen women, all of these jobs are hard labouring jobs. Dickens also creates a wide range of characters that make you as a reader know them, Dickens splits these characters apart by giving them their own sense of speech on a page, different language, in a sort of 'slang', strong language of criminal underclass which is used in great effect later explained.

    • Word count: 2798
  11. 'Great Expectations' Coursework

    I found out for certain, that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard". 'overgrown' suggests that the churchyard has been abandoned and not cared for. 'nettles' is another gothic element because nettles are unwanted weeds that don't look nice. This further emphasises the abandonment of the churchyard. Another technique Dickens uses in 'Great Expectations' to engage the reader in this book is the strong characterisation of each character. E.g. in the start of chapter two, "My sister, Mrs Joe Gargery (...) have a hard and heavy hand, and to be much in the habit of laying it upon her husband as well as upon me (...)

    • Word count: 864
  12. "How does Dickens' create mystery and suspense in his writing?"

    Another example of Dickens use of language is also in 'A Christmas Carol' -"The phantom slowly, gravely, silently approached." This is an example of tripling, and the word 'gravely' again refers to death. This piece of writing certainly does create mystery and suspense. In the 'Signalman,' there are many examples of Dickens' descriptive language, - "a vague vibration in the earth and air, quickly changing, into a violent pulsation, and an oncoming rush." Here Dickens uses many adjectives to create mystery and suspense.

    • Word count: 1147
  13. Dickens' approach of contrasting circumstances in both France and England acts as the appropriate background to invigorate the factual violent revolutionary activity, both serving to create a tense and unrepressed setting.

    * "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, and we had nothing before us..." (3) Paragraph Two * The setting in France: where the main action takes place, and its relevance to the plot. The background serves as a form of providing the tense and harsh atmosphere, where there is much political unrest and rebellion brewing * Imagery and setting is combined, as forewarnings to the coming uprising.

    • Word count: 1361
  14. My work experience.

    The night before my first day of work experience I made my lunch, consisting of 4 sandwiches, 3 packets of crisps and 3 chocolate bars, and left it in the fridge. Then I made sure I had clean jeans, t-shirt and jumper for the next day. I got an early night that night as I had to be up at 6:30 to be at work at 7:00. Having woken up at 6:30 I left the house at 6:45 to walk to Heath End launderette where Oliver would pick me up and drive me to where we were working that day.

    • Word count: 1023
  15. Original Writing - Prose: Behind Bars - It's a tough job with unsociable hours, rare contact with the outside world and a less than impressive pay package. So why would anyone want to be a prison officer?

    Her only interaction is with the prisoners themselves and her fellow officers. " Sometimes I don't see daylight all week, by the time I leave work its dark outside and when I get up its also dark-it can be quite a strain". To look at Carol you wouldn't think that her job was a 'strain'. She is far removed from the stereotypical prison officer that is synonymous with polished black boots and a stern air of authority. She has long blonde hair that is neatly tied up with a red flower hair band.

    • Word count: 992
  16. 7In this passage, from the chapter 'Styrofoam Peanuts'how does Wolfe's style and use of language vividly bring to life this key point in Sherman McCoy's degradation?

    Sherman feels 'paralyzed with fear and confusion' and his vulnerability is clear, and enhanced by Wolfe's style that brings out the atmosphere. Wolfe writes on a theme that has been explored by many writers: that of the inevitable collapse of the 1980s yuppie lifestyle but Wolfe's writing stands out from other novels such as 'American Psycho' by Brett Easton-Ellis: the language is so real that every detail is described. The scene is written from the view of McCoy and consists of his thought processes interspersed with direct speech and italicised exclamations.

    • Word count: 851
  17. Compare Charles Dickens' description of Miss Havesham's dressing room with Charles Bronte's description of the red-room.

    This reflecting the reader's view on the happening's in the story, but more precisely the extract on this particular subject. Like 'Great Expectations', 'Jayne Eyre', has a first person narrative, Jayne, herself. The narrator in 'Jayne Eyre', is actually older than the narrator in 'Great Expectations'. The narrator seems less anxious than the boy in 'Great Expectations', there seems to be no signs of nervousness or anxiety in the passage of 'Jayne Eyre' from the narrator. Both the rooms in the two stories are parts of rich, wealthy, large houses.

    • Word count: 1060
  18. What Techniques Do Authors Use To Present the Female Characters? using extracts from Great Expectations

    For example, Mrs Atty "the mother of the bride...bespectacled...wore a flowered dress-small yellow and blue blooms". Also, Mrs Cornish "the mother of the bridegroom...was in pink, with a pink hat". As well, Mrs Tracey "a sister of Mrs Atty's...was the stoutest of the three women... she was dressed in black". Trevor gives this limited information about his characters because they are a community not individuals. Charles Dickens and William Trevor write very different styles. Firstly, Dickens writes in a metaphorical way.

    • Word count: 1408
  19. Comparison between The Son's Vito and Kiss Miss Carol

    Randolph responds very selfishly. The problem in 'Kiss Miss Carol' is the difference between Jolil and Mr.Miah. Jolil wants to play a part and join in the school play. Mr.Miah Jolil's father is entirely against his son taking part in the play. He believes you should go to school to study and not to play. Mr.Miah states, "Play's all the time, no good" In 'The Son's Veto' the author requires us to sense compassion for Sophy for the reason that she was primarily in a wheelchair from a young age and the refutation of marriage to Sam by Randolph.

    • Word count: 1686
  20. 'A central issue in Victorian novels is the place of women in society'. Discuss the role and expectations of women in Middlemarch

    He expects women to be an adornment, being able to 'play you or sing you a good old English tune' rather than have knowledge of 'classics, mathematics' and 'that kind of thing'. He requires women to have the simple function of a light entertainer, never having need of an opinion because subjects that would require one are 'too taxing'. Eliot is being highly ironic in depicting Brooke in this way, highlighting his want of a woman being able to perform tricks, like a complex dog, as ridiculous, and even more so in its acceptance among his friends.

    • Word count: 2484
  21. The Structural Aspects of Zab'i Naka

    The proverbs also startle and interrupt the tale. The reader is going along reading the narrative, and then all of a sudden, the author interjects with a proverb out of the blue. It is an authorial intrusion, and the author is all of a sudden right in the reader's face. The proverb tends to pull the reader in and make him or her think about it in the context of the story. For example, the story is discussing the situation in the hospital where the poor people have to wait for hours, but anyone with money or power is escorted by the doctor straight into, and later out of, the examining room.

    • Word count: 967
  22. The two Rivers

    Veronica's family was always very important to her. When Okeke came back after ten years and found Veronica with a child and husband, Veronica says to him: "God has blessed us with a son, is that enough?" This line is an example of how important family is to Veronica. It expresses Veronica's feelings towards her own family. She could have left her old life behind her and made fresh break in the city, but still, she treasures what she already has and is thankful for that.

    • Word count: 1740
  23. Show how Dickens uses settings in Great Expectations to enhance our understanding of character and the symbolic elements of the plot - Great expectations

    Moreover, to confirm the presence of this imagery, the "great front entrance had two chains across it outside" (chapter 8 page 54). From the description of Satis House we understand more about the character of its inhabitant, Miss Havisham, who has made the house grow old with her, without looking after it as she doesn't look after herself, and has actually blocked out the outside world and made Satis house her own 'prison'. Mr. Jaggers' office is another very much illustrated location (chapter 20 page 160): "dismal", "eccentrically patched", "broken", "distorted", "twisted", "odd", "dreadful", "rusty", "greasy", "deadly".

    • Word count: 901
  24. Compare Oliver Twist and The Catcher in the Rye exploring how the authors portray the main characters and the dangers they face. How do their narrative styles differ?

    In Dickens' book Oliver is portrayed as the young, innocent little boy caught up in the dark underbelly of Victorian London. He has to try and simply stay alive in the book at times such as when he is shot and when he has to walk to London with almost no food. He never comes to be corrupted himself though and really only used as a tool to look around at the kind of society the poor had to live in.

    • Word count: 1007
  25. The Metamorphosis

    Gregor also had an obligation to send Grete to conservatory, which was one of many social expectations of him. Gregor's obligation to his mother was to obey her and she expected him to take care of everyone, and bring a paycheck home, which is why she was always telling him when to wake up what to do.Gregor's unwavering devotion to his family signifies his character as a victim of Social expectations to family which he is compelled to finish. Gregor is a victim of his father's social expectations. Gregor comes from a bourgeoisie family which is why Mr.

    • Word count: 564

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss how Dickens creates sadness in Book the Second

    "To conclude, Dickens uses language and dramatic disasters to create sadness throughout the second book. In 1854, the time at which the book was written, people loved romantic tragedy and trauma which the second book has with both Rachel and Stephan, and Mr Harthouse and Louisa. The death of Mrs Gradgrind is another tragedy which Dickens portrays well and is very emotional. He uses the metaphor of life as a river in which we all just drift down until the end and these uses of language as well as others he uses throughout the book are methods which Dickens uses to sadden the reader. The final scene in which Louisa lets out her emotions upon her father, condemning the day she was born and questioning his motives which lead her to be so dispassionate."

  • Compare Charles Dickens' description of Miss Havesham's dressing room with Charles Bronte's description of the red-room.

    "I think my response was stronger to 'Great Expectations', as I found it more intriguing. One of the main causes of this would be that there was actually a person present in the room as it was being narrated. A very interesting person aswell, somebody that can capture your attention. I would imagine so because I simple don't hear of people who lock themselves up like that, although it is a fictitious character. I didn't get into 'Jayne Eyre' as much, it seemed to float past me as I went through it without making much of an impact. As I said a few moments ago, it is probably as there isn't a person in the room as I'm reading the story to interest me as such. I felt that the writing in both stories conjured up a respectful amount of imagery in my mind, but in all I think my preference has swayed towards 'Great Expectations'. Jason Warner"

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