Reword the first two paragraphs of the novel as concisely as possible. Why might Dickens have chosen to write them so convolutedly? What are the effects of this style?
Ask students to reword the two paragraphs in pairs, in writing, or aloud in front of the class. Note how simple the meaning is, and how it is at odds with the highly convoluted language Dickens employs. Define tone (“the attitude of the author toward the subject”) and discuss possible ways to describe Dickens' tone in these first few chapters. Ask students how the tone affects
Perhaps the atrocities being described are better stomached in a jesting, rather than mournful tone. The tone also helps to...
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