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AS and A Level: Charles Dickens

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  1. Both stories studied concentrate on how people appear to others. Discuss the way each writer uses comic elements to achieve a serious effect

    He makes his feelings known publicly and makes money from the consequent poem that follows. We feel superior to both characters that are why we mock them. The high school girls are reassured that they are apart of the society because they haven't got "cellulite thighs" just like the professor believes he is intelligent because he can distinguish a "Buddhist temple from a Shinto shrine" Shields exploits stereotypical judgements right from the beginning. In the opening paragraph, Carol Sheilds describes Mrs Turner as a "sight". This is a slangy phrase, not a compliment. It is a negative thing yet we find it funny although it is unconventional.

    • Word count: 3201
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. “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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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

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