Great Expectations By Charles Dickens About Dickens… Lived during England’s Victorian era. His family was fairly well-to-do but his father was put into debtors prison. Dickens is scarred from having to work in a factory at the age of twelve. Some of his famous novels include Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, and Hard Times. About the novel… Published chapter by Told in first person chapter in a narrative. magazine—known as Time sequence is serial publication. overlapping—Pip is Set outside of and in telling the story of his London in the mid past but also provides 1800s. his present insights Is somewhat about his past. autobiographical Major Themes… The justice system Relationships Money and its impact on life/people Conflict due to divisions in social class Love Alienation Betrayal Evil intentions are the evil person’s undoing. Some things to look for… Imagery—Dickens uses strong images that hold meaning (i.e.. handcuffs and Miss Havishams’s clock) Figurative language—Dickens uses metaphors, similes, and personification to paint extremely vivid pictures of the setting/people thereby contributing to mood. Aspects of Characterization Dickens ―uses physical descriptions that indicate something about the moral and spiritual nature of a person.‖ ―He associates characters with some manner of language.‖ ―He associates characters with some mannerism or action.‖ ―He places his characters in a particular setting.‖ George P. Landow Professor of English, Brown University Victorian Web http://www.victorianweb.org Sub genres of G. E. Social Satire– Dickens points out the hypocritical nature of Victorian society. The Novel of Crime and Detection Silver Fork Novel— ―a satire upon the pretentiousness and money morality of the aristocracy, as represented by Miss H.‖ Newgate Novel (famous Victorian prison) Romance Serial Fiction Historical Novel Philip V. Allingham, Lakeland University professor Victorian Web http://www.victorianweb.org Victorian Society Invented the modern idea of invention—that people are able to improve their lives by finding solutions to problems. Called into question institutional Christianity. A lot of change—democracy, feminism, unionization of workers, socialism, Marxism (the age of Darwin, Marx, and Freud) Small, very wealthy aristocracy Small middle class Large, very poor lower working class Society Class Divisions The discrepancy between the aristocracy and working classes was huge. The working class lived in poverty stricken conditions—poor housing, sanitation, little food etc. Dickens points out these conditions often in his writing G.E. is about… Youth, disillusionment, and the transition into adulthood We read about Pip who is deluded about the most basic things in his life. He is stripped of his pride and brought to a kinder humility. His changes are painful but he emerges a more mature, loving person than before.