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GCSE: David Copperfield
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Before the arrival of the Murdstones into the novel, David is home-taught by his mother Clara. He is a very bright and, confident and fluent reader and how Dickens writes this section about his home-teaching tells us of his capability at the start of the novel. Dickens also shows that David is content with his education at this point, as he is keen to learn. In the second chapter Dickens uses a clever technique to represent how David's character is so imaginative and intelligent. There is a part in the novel where David is sat on Pegotty's knee reading a book about crocodiles to her.
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All of this, I imagine, he wanted to bring to the attention of his readers. Poor young David Copperfield grew up with no shadow figure to give him guidance into life. All this young boy had was a, "white gravestone in the churchyard" which is the remains of his kind-hearted father who sadly left before David entered the world. Although he had no second parent to look up to, never for a moment was David bitter or angry that he was left. We can sense melancholy in his feeling or sadness and despair. As Mr Murdstone begins to welcome himself into David's life, he soon realises that the only Father he wants is his own blood Father, who would have cared and nurtured him until his dying day.
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From the entire trauma he went through, he decided to express his pain through his words. The education system was extremely poor. Only children with working parents would be educated, whereas poorer children would have to work. In the novel 'Hard Times', the education system was firm, harsh and stern; 'Quadruped. Graminivorous...Age known by marks in mouth.' This straight-to-the-point definition of a horse suggests that the teacher spoon-feeds the young, tender, innocent children with useless facts. The word 'Graminivorous' highlights that these children are being turned into adults mentally because he 'fed' the innocent children with facts that adults will normally know.
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"But the greatest wonder that I heard of Mr Creakle was, there being one boy in the school on whom he never ventured to lay a hand, and that boy being J. Steerforth." This shows us that Mr. Creakle is not actually as powerful as he may think but only hits these children as a way of making himself feel more powerful. Mr Creakle is a sadist in some ways. You get the feeling that while he is torturing and tormenting these boys he is enjoying it, the fact that he has to make young boys feel bad by demeaning
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Compare the two short stories, 'The Signal Man' by Dickens and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl.
What point do you think the author wanted to make? Are the two stories similar? Characters Describe the main characters in each story. Find one or two quotations which show what they are like. Are any of them alike? Which characters do you like\dislike. Give reasons. Do you find any of the character particularly believable or unrealistic. Say why. Style What is typical of each authors' style of language...this means; Do they use lots of description?(simile,metaphors?) Do they use a lot of direct speech, no direct speech or a mixture of direct and reported speech.
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