sample
Haven't found the Essay You Want?
For Only $12.90/page

Charles Dickens Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Differences and Similiraties Between Dickens and Hardy

Dickens was born in Portsea, in 12. His father, John Dickens, was a kind and likeable man, but incompetent with money, and due to his financial difficulties they moved to Camden when Dickens was nine. When Charles was twelve his father was arrested and taken to the debtors’ prison in Southwark. He started working at Warren’s blacking-warehouse and its strenuous working conditions made an impression on him, later influencing his fiction. He became interested in writing (and acting) and, after having learnt shorthand in his spare time, he began working as a freelance reporter at the Parliament and the Old Bailey. Under the nom de plume Boz he published the eponymous Sketches (36), a collection of short pieces concerning London…

Dicken’s Hard Times

“Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life.” (Dickens, 1854, p.1) With these beginning sentences of the novel “Hard Times”, Charles Dickens has made readers doubt whether it is true that facts alone are wanted in life. This question leads to the main theme of the story, fact against fancy, that author has never been written this kind of plot in his other stories before. In fact, Hard Times is considered as “the unlike-the-rest of Dickens’ works” (Collins, 1992, p.xi) because the plot is not involved the social problems in Victorian Age such as poverty or child labor, but it is “an abstract that exalts instinct above reason.”…

Madame DeFarge

Screams rend the air. Your sisters husband was worked to death by the scum who call themselves nobles. Before your brother-in-law is even cold in his grave, these men take your sister away. For sport. Your father’s heart is broken, your brother outraged. You are taken away to the sea for protection, and your brother goes to seek revenge on the dogs, who took not only your family’s food and money, but your honor, which is more valuable to a poor man than all other things combined. Your brother is killed by the “nobles” and your sister dies of a broken heart, and crushed honor. What is your response to this situation. This was Madame Defarge’s situation, and her heart…

Parental and Child Relationships in Great Expectations

Discuss Dickens’ presentation of relationships between children and their parents/parental figures in ‘Great Expectations’. Dickens uses the relationships between children and their parental figures to explore the themes of belonging, as well as status and identity. Pip, the protagonist of the novel, has been identified as an orphan and never saw either of his parents. Instantly, this gives the reader an idea that Pip did not belong to a typical and perfect family and never had his actual parents look after him or contribute to his upbringing. We are told that instead, his sister brought him up ‘by hand’. This phrase has been used by Dickens repetitively in the novel in linking the two siblings together; the idea that it…

The Victorian Era and the French Lieutenant’s Woman

The French Lieutenant’s Woman is a 1981 film of historical fiction, contrasting present day relationships, morality and industry with that of the Victorian era in the 1850s. It is an adaptation of a novel by John Fowles, the script was written by Harold Pinter. The setting is in England, Lyme and London specifically, where Charles, a Darwinian scientist is courting the daughter of a wealthy businessman. The film depicts Charles as somewhat of the laughingstock with the rich citizens of Lyme who regard his profession as folly. His future father-in-law offers him a position in his shipping company which is expanding to “Liverpool and Bristol.” The scenery in this portion of the film depicts frantic building going on in the…

Critical Analysis of the Artful Dodger in Dickens’ Oliver Twist

Write a Critical Analysis of the Character of the Artful Dodger in Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Would You Describe the Dodger Only as a Victim of Circumstances? Jack Dawkins, also known as the Artful Dodger, is one of the most interesting and memorable characters in Dickens’ Oliver Twist. He is reckless and very good at pickpocketing. He is denied the opportunity of choosing his own way of life and is fated to become a criminal. Jack has been a victim of circumstances all his life. The first thing that strikes us when meeting the Dodger in Chapter 8 of Oliver Twist is the way he looks and acts. We see a boy, who appears and behaves like a full-grown man. The…

Paper on Light vs Darkness In A Tale of Two Cities

Often times in literature the comparison between light and darkness is made. In Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, the author contrasts the two elements throughout the novel. Light and darkness are in constant battle with each other, they also dominate the setting and tone of the story. From the opening lines the reader has a since of struggle between light and darkness, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.” The story then progresses and introduces Dr. Mannette,…

Justice System in a Tale of Two Cities

It is no secret that, in a Tale of Two Cities, Dickens constantly critiques the English society. In chapters two and three he focuses on critiquing the justice system. By using various language strategies including juxtaposition, and the lack of quotation marks, Dickens comments on the ridiculousness of the court. Dickens’s use of juxtaposition is evident when he describes Charles Darnay as “a false traitor to our serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth” (Dickens 65). He uses many formal and descriptive adjectives followed by “and so forth”, which is informal and vague. The informality of these words reflects the barbarous actions of the crowd. The crowd craves entertainment and information so much that, “people paid the see the play at…

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist is a novel written by Charles Dickens. The novel follows an orphan boy named Oliver through many trials and tribulations he must endure. Through this he does have a few kind, compassionate, and stable people to rely on. Two of the most important were Nancy and Rose Maylie. Within this essay I will give a detailed description of both Rose and Nancy and also compare and contrast the two. First I would like to introduce you to Nancy. Nancy is the only female character of Fagin’s group. Being a part of this group Nancy must steal from the rich in order to make money for basic necessities and keep her relationships with the crew. This lifestyle puts he…

Symbolism in A Tale of Two Cities

A change can be noticed and identified by other changes. In the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens uses symbolism, allusions, and foreshadowing to convey his attitude towards the French Revolution while also heightening the suspense of the upcoming turmoil. Symbolism is used in A Tale of Two Cities to convey Charles Dickens’ attitude towards the upcoming revolution. Charles uses the sea as a symbol for the social unrest of the people of France, “the sea did what it liked and what it liked was destruction.”(22) The sea is used here as a representation of the rising French Revolution that was not only affecting France, but England as well, marking the start of rebellious actions that began to…

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Human nature is the psychological and social qualities that characterize humankind. Human nature separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. The underlining theme of human nature is evident in Great Expectation by Charles Dickens use of his characters. A main characteristic that Dickens displays is friendship. The friendship between Pip and Herbert is strong. Herbert was significant to Pip’s growth in social class and eventual to his revelation. “Friendship was one of the human characteristics Dickens enjoyed…by associating fellowship with good characters and deeds, he made it known that he admires friendship.” (MacAndrew 168) Herbert aided Pip when he first came to London and made the transition an easy one. Herbert helped filled in the blanks for Pip…

Nature vs. Nurture in Oliver Twist

Out of all the questions that anyone may have for the novel, Oliver Twist, one of the more common questions that can occur is; “What determines a person’s personality, decisions, actions, etc. Is nature to blame? Or is it nurture’s fault?” Seeing as though Oliver was orphaned at birth and never had a real mother or siblings to look up to, this essay will focus on the nurture section of the question. Nurture, by definition, is the value of experiences, cultural influences, and learned actions/reactions in a growing offspring’s life. Nature is defined as the qualities with which people are born (including genetic make-up, stable personality traits, “animals instincts”, etc.) Oliver had many bad influences to decide that it may…

Revenge in the Great Expectations

Revenge is a primary theme in the novel Great Expectation by Charles Dickens. In this novel, many characters go out of their way to extract revenge, leading them to misfortunes such as death and imprisonment. Dickens makes it very clear that nothing positive can come from revenge through his characters and the results that come from their revenge. These acts range from petty resentment filled with passion, to long and drag out strife laced with malice, to lifelong vendettas driven by hatred. Revenge comes in many forms—and for Orlick, his was the sort of petty resentment filled with passion, rather than stone cold hatred. In the novel, Orlick acts as the main antagonist; he is described as tardy, as Pip…

Tale of Two Cities Character Change

Characters change in many ways, whether they are conscious of it or not. In both a “Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens and “Nectar in a Sieve” by Kamala Markandaya characters can change when they have choices forced upon them. This essay will show how change is forced on characters in both books. To begin with, character change in “Nectar in a Sieve” is shown in different ways. One is shown when Ruku and Nathan are forced into situations they are not fond of. “Let us not sacrifice the future to our immediate need.’ ’What is the alternative?’ he shouted. ‘Do you think I am blind and do not see, or so stupid as to believe that crops are…

Book Report on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

In his novel, Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens narrates a classical story (in a true life experience manner) of a mistreated Orphan, named Oliver Twist. The story unfolds the adventure of Oliver Twist who lost both parents at a very tender age and thus lost his chances of decent living. His mother died at childbirth, while his father was conspicuously absent in his life from the beginning. He spent his tender years in a far away “babyfarm”, where children were giving little or no care and treated with contempt. “You needn’t mind sending up to me, if the child cries, nurse,” said the surgeon, putting on his gloves with great deliberation. “It’s very likely it will .. ” Oliver Twist went…

The Book a Christmas Carol

In the book A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, the main character, Scrooge, has many experiences with new emotions throughout the book. These new emotions are fear, sadness and happiness. Scrooge gets scared when Marley, his old business partner, who has been dead for seven years, appears as a ghost at his door. Scrooge got so frightened the he slammed his door shut and double locked it. Scrooge was also visited by the ghost of Christmas past and Scrooge is sad to see his childhood. He saw how he was neglected as a child in the past and this contrasted to his new emotional experience. After being visited by three ghosts, Scrooge becomes a very happy man. He instantly becomes…

William Shakespeare Quotes and Quotations

Famous Quotes and Quotations from the plays of William Shakespeare Shakespearean quotations such as “To be, or not to be” and “O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? ” form some of literature’s most celebrated lines and if asked to recite one of William Shakespeare’s most famous quotes or quotations the majority of people would choose one of these. However, many expressions that we use every day originated in William Shakespeare’s plays. We use the Bard’s words all of the time in everyday speech, however, we are often totally unaware that we are ‘borrowing’ sayings from his work! William Shakespeare is attributed with writing 38 plays, Famous Shakespearean sonnets and 5 other poems and used about 21,000 different words. William…

Analysis of Charles Dickens’ – Sketches by Boz

‘The Streets-Morning’ by Charles Dickens is an extract taken from ‘Sketches by Boz.’ It is a descriptive piece and follows prominent features of the literary sketch technique, as it contains no prominent plot. The speaker narrates the “appearance presented by the streets of London an hour before sunrise on a summer’s morning.” The extract is in the first person narrative. This feature adds intensity and supports the use of details. First person narrative is generally considered unreliable due to lack of witnesses and external verification; however, the detached and objective narration by the speaker prompts readers to think otherwise – “now and then a rakish looking cat runs stealthily…bounding first on the water-butt then on the dust hole…” The sentence…

What goes around comes around

Do you believe in Karma? Many people do. Karma is the believe that what you give out is what you will get back in life. In Zora Neale Hurston’s “Sweat,” the main character, Delia is beaten and mistreated her entire life by her husband. This is an ironic piece of literature and although Delia has dealt with this suffering for so long, she remains kind and generous toward her hateful husband, Sykes. Throughout this short story, irony, foreshadowing and diction help to show that good always overcomes evil. The details in this story help to show us that Delia is good in this story and Sykes represents evil and will eventually have a downfall. The entire town knows that Sykes…

The Rory Gilmore Reading List

The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Archidamian War by Donald Kagan The Art of Fiction by Henry James The Art of War by Sun Tzu As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner Atonement by Ian McEwan Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy The Awakening by Kate Chopin Babe by Dick King-Smith. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai…

What books to read

1. Blind Man With a Pistol – Chester Hines 2. The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles 3. The Green Man – Kingsley Amis 4. Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth 5. Ada – Vladimir Nabokov 6. Them – Joyce Carol Oates 7. A Void/Avoid – Georges Perec 8. Eva Trout – Elizabeth Bowen 9. Myra Breckinridge – Gore Vidal 10. The Nice and the Good – Iris Murdoch 11. Belle du Seigneur – Albert Cohen 12. Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid – Malcolm Lowry 13. The German Lesson – Siegfried Lenz 14. In Watermelon Sugar – Richard Brautigan 15. A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines 16. The Quest for Christa T. – Christa Wolf….

Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”

Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cites, is a very rich text. The characters, plot, and writing style are all complex and multifaceted. However, one of the least studied and important part of this novel is the chapter titles and even the proposed novel titles. These titles reveal and expose more about the text, like symbolism and irony that would have otherwise been missed. Dickens’ chapter and proposed novel titles are instrumental in revealing symbolism and irony in the book. Dickens’ chapter titles reveal underlying symbolism in the novel. One of most symbolic of all the chapter titles is that of Book II, chapter five: “The Jackal.” The “jackal” is the nickname given to Sydney Carton, and it holds…

Isak Dinesen’s “The Blue Jar”

Blue Roller coasters are the best rides at amusement parks. On the way up your head is filed with mixed emotions and your body tingles with anticipation. On the way down your mind no longer thinks but reacts to the track ahead and your body is filled with excitement. Then, it is over. The ride was short and ended as quickly as it begun. Isak Dinesen’s “The Blue Jar” is like a roller coaster. Its plot follows the track of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and conclusion not once, but twice. Also, it isn’t only up and down but many twist and turns are discovered during the course of the plot as well. The effect of this unusual double…

Hard Times: Coketown

In ” Hard Times: Coketown” Charles Dickens is assessing industrialization and the effect it had on the people in the towns in which they resided. Coketown seems to be portrayed as a city of work and not anything else. It is put across that the town consists of only fact and nothing else to alleviate the dullness. Charles Dickens is sharing his analysis on the social issues implicated in this town through a narrative that reflects upon the environment. He uses a lot of descriptions and similes to show the implications in which the society is inflicting. For example, the steam engine is constantly going up and down is “like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy…

Extracts from ‘Great Expectations

The extracts I will be analysing are from the novel Great Expectations written by Charles Dickens. I am going to be describing how Dickens has succeeded in making the reader feel sorry for Pip. Dickens used his own experiences as a boy to help him write sympathetically of being a young child, his family had no money and got transferred from city to city until he was ten years old, his father was also sent to prison for six months over debt. He based the character Pip in remembrance of himself as a child, writing about his own thoughts and feelings to help himself create more sympathy for Pip. Pips given name was Philip Pirrip, as he was so young…

Compare miss Havisham and Lady Macbeth

?Compare the presentation of Lady Macbeth and Miss Havisham. Explore how Shakespeare and Dickens present them as disturbed women. Disturbed is a definition of someone who has emotional or mental problems; both Lady Macbeth and Miss Havisham are presented as disturbed characters in one way or another. These two leading women both have characteristics that were not stereotypical of woman at the time periods that the play and the novel were set in; making them immediately appear strange to the audience or reader of that time. Shakespeare and Dickens both present their leading women in very different ways; however some aspects of their characters show similarities. The play Macbeth was set in Elizabethan times, where there was a patriarchal society…

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The relationship between Pip, Estella, and Jaggers is going through much growth throughout the story. Pip’s and Estella’s relationship is very similar to as when Pip was just a common boy, and there is not much hope for the relationship to become real. Jaggers also has and will have much influence on the lives of Pip and Estella. The relationship between Pip and Estella is not getting much better and there is not much hope in it, the main reason being that Estella still treats Pip the same as when he was just a common boy. Estella explains that she has no heart and cannot feel emotions, which is from the quote “You must know”, said Estella, …”that I have…

Utilitariansim and Dickens’ Hard Times

Hard Times offers a critique of the Utilitarian ideology from a romantic perspective. Hard Times demonstrates that one cannot reason oneself to happiness, but that relying solely on the faculties of the mind will not fulfill the complexities of the human being. John Stuart Mills, in his paper Utilitarianism proposed the philosophy is “not something to be contradistinguished from pleasure, but pleasure itself, together with exemption from pain; and instead of opposing the useful to the agreeable or the ornamental…” However, Dickens did not find this harmony to be a possible outcome of the rigidity of logic, but found the imagination to be a more fertile ground for producing happiness. Dickens wrote of utilitarianism as it was applied during British…

Industrialization in “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens

The industrial revolution was an era of mechanization. During this era, in 1854, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) wrote Hard Times to comment upon the change within society and its effect on its people. Dickens points out the flaws and limitations of this new society in his eloquent and passionate plea on behalf of the working poor (Charles Dickens Hard Times, 2000). The novel shows presents to readers the authors perspective of life during the nineteenth century and makes comments on the central theme of fact versus fancy. Due to this theme, the novel ends with many characters realising that a person needs more than just fact in their life. The novel examines the utilitarian system through various characters such as Tom,…

Social criticism in The Great Gatsby

Authors often use their works to convey criticisms of society. Such works of literature do not directly criticize specific real people or events. They do however present a sense of the writer’s concern with issues of social injustice and misguided values. Two strong examples of social criticism through literature are Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In both novels the writers project their social criticisms to the reader through the use of characterization and setting. Great Expectations was written and set in mid-Victorian England, having been first published as a serial in “All The Year Round” a weekly English periodical. Dickens used this form of publication to incrementally dose his readers with his…