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...

12th Grade

A Christmas Carol

“These are but the spirit of things that have been.” The metaphorical words of the Ghost of Christmas Past are typical of Dickens’ melodramatic writing style. Set in Victorian England, a time rife with greed and social stratification, Charles...

12th Grade

A Christmas Carol

“I wear the chain I forged in life… I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will, I wear it.” Jacob Marley’s words allude to the harrowing impact that emotions such as remorse have on the...

11th Grade

A Christmas Carol

When a man’s name is synonymous with greed and misery, most readers would not associate him with the shining image of a hero. The hero’s journey is a classic literary pattern in which a character goes on an adventure, faces challenges, and comes...

10th Grade

A Christmas Carol

‘Jacob Marley was as dead as a doornail.’ The celebrated author Charles Dickens accentuates this inert nature of a door nail to the society to 1843 England through his classic novella ‘A Christmas Carol.’ The novella’s titular character, Ebenezer...

12th Grade

Great Expectations

Guilt represents an important aspect of Pip’s life throughout the novel. The bildungsroman that transforms the innocent boy to a decadent gentleman, then into a truly noble gentleman, shows how such negative ideals resulting into misery can be...

College

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens often used his narratives as a means to express and commentate on the shortcomings of the society he resided in, and his critiques were often pointedly focused on both the ineptitude of the legal system and the unfulfilling nature...

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...