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					Dickens and Great
Expectations
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."
Dickens’ style:

  a mixture of fantasy and realism.
  Great Expectations is also a
   bildungsroman with gothic elements
Bildungsroman

    A bildungsroman is a novel which
     concerns itself with the development of a
     youthful protagonist as he or she
     matures.
Gothic Novel

  Suspense, horror, fear, and superstition
  The sad ruin of Satis House, the
   monsters in human form, suspenseful
   entrapments are all Gothic aspects of
   Great Expectations.
Great Expectations—sub-genres

  Social satire: Dickens makes us laugh at
   a society that values wealth and class,
   that condones snobbery and social
   injustice
  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
Gentleman status

    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
Gentleman status

  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
   background.
Why is Great Expectations relevant
to us?
   Universal themes:
 -growing up
 -class conflict
 -social elevation
 -isolation, loneliness
 -ethics
 -loyalty
Illustrations of Great Expectations:

    http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustratio
     n/mclenan/ge.html

				
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