Charles Dickens Essays

A Christmas Carol

Like Christmas morning itself - when each present represents a discrete mystery, separate from the last - the Christmas Carol is divided into a set of episodes. The book's chapters are episodic, with the duration of each spirit a single episode....

A Christmas Carol

Much of Charles Dickens' representation of morality in his most famous of Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol, is derived from "the wisdom of our ancestors." (1) From the beginning of his narrative Dickens explains his usage of the phrase "dead...

12th Grade

A Christmas Carol

‘A Christmas Carol’ was immediately popular in Victorian England and soon, the rest of the world. It became a cultural icon, sparking a tradition to be read every Christmas Eve in many households. The relevance of the novella, even in the 21st...

Great Expectations

It is difficult to classify the personality of any one person as being entirely one way or another. So, too, it is difficult to classify a rich, round character like Pip in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations as being essentially passionate or...

Great Expectations

The forms that stand in closest competition with those undergoing modification and improvement will naturally suffer most.

--Darwin, The Origin of the Species (1859)

Christopher Ricks poses the question, in his essay on Dickens' Great Expectations,...

Great Expectations

"We have no choice, you and I, but to obey our instructions. We are not free to follow our own devices, you and I." (265).

The question of self-determination is central in Great Expectations. Dickens struggles to determine and express to what...

Great Expectations

The fledgling years of post-industrial Britain were tumultuous ones, as are the beginnings of all eras that dismantle century-old beliefs and traditions. It was the advent of capitalism, signifying endless opportunities for wealth through industry...

Great Expectations

In the first part of Dicken's Great Expectations, Pip confesses to his readers that "I had known, from the time when I could speak, that my sister, in her capricious and violent coercion, was unjust to me" (63). During Pip's first visit to Satis...

Great Expectations

In literature, an author will often choose to portray a turning point in a novel through a change in setting. This transformation alerts the reader to take notice of not simply the plot development but also many other things about the work. For...

Great Expectations

Great Expectations is a novel which, in its first part, focuses largely on the education and upbringing of a young boy, Pip. Orphaned at a young age, he is raised "by hand" by his older sister and her husband, a blacksmith. Written from the adult...

Great Expectations

Great Expectations is the account of a young boy’s transition into adulthood as Pip, the central character, searches for contentment. Born into no particular wealth or distinction, he may have lived wholly satisfied with his modest pedigree had it...

Great Expectations

“Tell me your dreams for a while and I will tell you what you are really like.” Written by E.R. Pfaff in 1868, this proverb posits dreams as authentic manifestations of an individual’s identity and character. It makes two conclusions: 1) dreams...

Great Expectations

Biddy is introduced early in Great Expectations and is mentioned regularly throughout, though she is not one of the major characters. She does, however, serve as a constant reminder to Pip of what he is leaving behind and, as she is more of a peer...