You will have a copy of this novel to read and use in class; as usual, we will use notebooks for class discussions and computers will not be essential.
However, if you click the image above, you will find the complete text of the novel online to read at any time.
There is an absence of both directing ideas and disturbing idealizations. In Great Expectations there is shown a power of external observation finer and deeper even than Thackeray's; and yet, owing to the presence of other qualities, the general impression is not one of objective reality.
The author palpably uses his observations as materials for his creative faculties to work upon; he does not record, but invents; and he produces something which is natural only under conditions prescribed by his own mind.
The humorous characterization is joyously exaggerated into caricature,--the serious characterization into romantic unreality.
Richard Swiveller and Little Nell refuse to combine.
Even after the first, second, third, and even fourth of these surprises gave their pleasing electric shocks to intelligent curiosity, the denouement was still hidden, though confidentially foretold.
The plot of the romance is therefore universally admitted to be the best that Dickens has ever invented.
Themes Study Guide Symbols Some good news for the English student: Dickens was not subtle when it came to using symbolism in his writing; you can’t miss it!
Refer to Page 5 of the document above and do some similar preparation/presentation work on the symbols you find in that page. Language and Style Finally, we will do a bit of work on language and style in Dickens.