Dickens and Great
Realism . . .
An aesthetic mode which broke with the
classical demands of art to show life as it
should be in order to show life "as it is."
a mixture of fantasy and realism.
Great Expectations is also a
bildungsroman with gothic elements
A bildungsroman is a novel which
concerns itself with the development of a
youthful protagonist as he or she
Suspense, horror, fear, and superstition
The sad ruin of Satis House, the
monsters in human form, suspenseful
entrapments are all Gothic aspects of
Social satire: Dickens makes us laugh at
a society that values wealth and class,
that condones snobbery and social
Criticizes the class system
Social class-What is a gentleman?
The concept of the nineteenth-century
gentleman is complex
Members of the British aristocracy were
gentlemen by right of birth
Clergy belonging to the Church of
England army officers, members of
Parliament — were recognized as
gentlemen by virtue of their occupations
The new industrial and mercantile elites,
in the face of opposition from the
aristocracy, inevitably attempted to have
themselves designated as gentlemen as
a natural consequence of their growing
wealth and influence
There was also a moral component in
the idea of the gentleman which made it
difficult for the Victorians to define.
Dickens desired the status of a
gentleman, despite his humble
Why is Great Expectations relevant
Illustrations of Great Expectations: