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AS and A Level: Charles Dickens

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. "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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. The Poor Relation by Charles Dickens and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber – Compare the Treatment of a “Fictitious World” by Both Authors

    This is when he explains about this real life in great detail. However, Dickens adds a twist in the end. It turns out that the poor relation's claim that he leads a secret life is actually false and it is simply his fantasy life; the life he wished he had led. His real life was in fact the one he had described at the beginning, a miserable and unlucky one. The life he wished he had led is the opposite of everything in his real life.

    • Word count: 1148
  16. How does Charles Dickens use the ghost story genre to provoke fear in both the Victorian and modern reader of The Signalman?

    Locomotives were newly introduced, and of course, Dickens had his main focus on locomotives. This was a plus factor to scare the Victorians and play with their minds. Dickens had also played with people?s minds because he included accidents and deaths in the story. During the time he wrote the story, there had been a train accident that killed 10 people. People in the Victorian era were scared and petrified. However, for a modern reader, the story wouldn?t be as scary, because trains are used in our everyday lives and technology has become such a great impact to the world.

    • Word count: 1254
  17. Throughout A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens tells the story of several characters, all of who are developed continuously throughout the chapters

    When Carton says, ?for you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything,? Dickens is emphasizing the fact that Carton is dedicated to her. Throughout the passage, he continuously repeats phrases including the word you, such as when he states ?I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you.? As a result of emphasizing Carton?s love for Lucie, Dickens creates an immense feeling of sympathy for the reader, as the dedication for Lucie is expressed so eloquently.

    • Word count: 1390
  18. Explore Dickens presentation of education in Hard Times and comment on how this reflects a Dickensian vision of Utilitarianism

    Gradgrind's view on education is his children are to never imagine or wonder. Gradgrind rejects the concept of "fancy" or imagination; ?fancy? has nothing to contribute to understanding; only things that can be measured are important. Gradgrind?s disapproving rant on fancy ?You don?t walk upon flowers in fact? (14) to the students underlines that fancy is bad and it should be ?facts!? (14) In his satirical description of Gradgrind, Dickens? aim is of what he experienced in the industrial England during his time when education varied vastly, according to location, gender, and class, meaning that Dickens view on Utilitarianism is shown in a satirical way, and his beliefs stood out throughout the novel, this indicates how the education system was controlled.

    • Word count: 1110
  19. How successful is Dickens in gaining our interest as readers in the opening chapter of Great Expectations?

    Dickens employs Pip as the narrator to present a prospective and prophetic relationship between himself and the escaped convict. As a reader, this initially appears to be a strange concept solely based on the power dynamics between Pip and the convict and his demands, with Pip reciprocating for fear of his life. However, as they part, Pip looks back to see the man walking alone into the marshes. This metaphorical image of the convict hugging ?his shuddering body in both his arms? on the horizons with the gallows, is strikingly familiar to the initial image we had of Pip who was holding himself in the cold, alone in the churchyard with the gravestones of his dead parents.

    • Word count: 1526

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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