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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. 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
  3. '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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. The War of the Roses

    He was not supportive of her, especially when she decided to start her own catering business. All of this got to her, and she couldn't handle it anymore. Barbara got to the point where she despised Oliver, but he would not face the facts and let her go. In the process things got way out of control, specifically over who would get the house. It should have gone to Barbara because she was the one who slaved away at making it beautiful.

    • Word count: 497
  10. “A Christmas Carol Is Nothing More Than A Children’s Fairytale?” How Far Do You Agree With This Statement?

    make believe, stereotype good versus evil approach, a simple plot, simple language, character caricatures, themes of the supernatural and the most important is that it would contain a morale.

    • Word count: 310
  11. Explore the use of symbolism, pathetic fallacy and metaphors in Great Expectations.

    Amid Pip's experience with Magwitch, an uneasy climate allows Dickens to depict Pip as being defenceless and frail. Dickens opens Chapter 1 by using the setting of a churchyard to create an eerie mood. He describes the churchyard as 'bleak' and 'overgrown', focusing on the inauspiciousness and the isolation of the churchyard during Pip's experience with Magwitch. Dickens repeats the expressions 'nettles' and 'tombstones' proposing that a churchyard is a place of torment and demise; highlighting the sinister mood of Pip's encounter with Magwitch by ingraining tension within the reader. Dickens implies that the afternoon was heading towards evening, suggesting that it was cold and fairly dark in the churchyard at the time; the darkness of the setting symbolises the mystery of the unknown, adding to the already apprehensive atmosphere.

    • Word count: 675
  12. How does Dickens show his dislike for the education system in "Hard Times"?

    Another way Dickens portrays his dislike is by the mocking names that he chose for his characters. A main example is the character Mr Gradgrind whose name could be seen as ?grind? meaning to break down the children?s imagination. This could be portrayed as a comical way to show Dickens dislike for the education system because he is choosing names which could have hidden meanings which mock, but at the same time, reinforce what the education system is doing to the children.

    • Word count: 527
  13. How far do you agree that Great Expectations is a condemnation of Dickens contemporary society?

    In addition, the fact Magwitch had to ?sell all the clothes on his back? to be able to afford a lawyer shows that it was hard for poor people to afford a lawyer and so they were most likely to lose in court, and it therefore shows us how unfair this is because people have to go to extreme lengths to be represented properly.

    • Word count: 570
  14. Essay Topic: How does Dickens examine the social problems of his age in A Christmas Carol?

    Christmas is just a time of year where you are left poorer. This examination is shown within the novel A Christmas Carol, through the character of Ebenezer Scrooge. Ebenezer Scrooge stated ?What's Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you?? This is one way of thinking about Christmas, however Dickens also observed Christmas in a whole lighter sense through the character of Ebenezer Scrooge?s nephew Fred.

    • Word count: 738

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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