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AS and A Level: Charles Dickens

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. '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
  4. Explore Joe Gargery's role in Great Expectations

    Perhaps this links to the image of the egg shell as well, as it is a fragile protector of life. Furthermore Joe could almost be seen as the protector of Pip?s life, as he saves him several times. Also egg shells can be strong, but have weak sides if they are put under stress, just like Joe has a weak side - he can?t protect Joe from Mrs Joe Gargery. As well as this, there is the idea that Joe is in control, in the words ?can? and ?or?, he can choose which side of himself to be, strong or gentle.

    • Word count: 2599

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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