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Monday, February 4, 2013

Dickens CLAQ's

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).
2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.
3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).
4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)

1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization. Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?
2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character? How? Example(s)?
3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic? Flat or round? Explain.
4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character? Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction.


1. Pip comes from a non-traditional background, he was an orphaned child who was being raised by his sister and her husband in London during the mid-nineteenth century. As he was in a graveyard gazing upon the tombstones of his family, a man attacked him from behind and threatened to kill. This man, Magwitch, turned out to be a criminal who had escaped from jail. Just as Pip was doing everything this man said in order to live another day, Magwitch was recaptured.

Recovering from this near-death experience, Pip's uncle took him to the Statis House to play. This house is the home of Miss Havisham. While in her home, Pip meets and falls in love with Estella. Estella was raised to break boys hearts at the request of Miss Havisham. She eventually married an abusive man. But just because she was married didn’t stop Pip’s persistent perusing of the young lady.

Pip was given a generous fortune from an unknown source. To claim his fortune, Pip had to travel to London where he could inherit this fortune at the age of twenty-one. While in London, Pip met Herbert Pockett, whom he aided with his fortune in order to help Herbert pursue his dreams. Magwitch turned out to be the source of Pip’s fortune, not Miss Havisham. Pip became close with the murderer and tried to help him escape London. But they failed and he was sentenced to death.

At the end, Pip discovered the love of his life, Estella, is Magwitch's daughter, but it doesn’t affect the feelings he has for her. They live happily ever after together.

2. A theme for this novel would be true love never fails. Even though Estella was rude and mean to Pip he still perused her. Even while she was married. He was able to see through the impurities and his persistence paid off. 

3. The tone of the novel is distressed and hopeful at the same time.

    ·         “Well then, understand once for all that I never shall or can be anything but miserable unless I can lead a very different sort of life form the life I lead now.”

    ·         “I walked away at a good pace, thinking it was easier to go than I had supposed it would be. But the village was very peaceful and quiet, and the light mists were solemnly rising, as if to show me the world, and I had been so innocent and little there, and all beyond was so unknown and great, that in a moment with a strong heave and I sob I broke into tears. “

    ·         “Nothing was needed but this; the wretched man, after loading wretched me with his gold and silver chains for years, had risked his life to come to me, and I held it there in my keeping! If I had been attracted to him by the strongest admiration and affection, instead of shrinking from him with the strongest repugnance; it could have been no worse. On the contrary, it would have been better, for his preservation would then have naturally and tenderly addressed my heart.”


      • Metaphor-"... think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day." (page 82) In this quote, the chains and flowers were metaphors for what could potentially hold the characters back from doing what they really wanted.
      • Anaphora-"... one [man's] a blacksmith, and one's a whitesmith, and one's a goldsmith, and one's a coppersmith. Divisions among such must come, and must be met as they come." (page 260) This quote made a point that each man must be separated due to their profession.
      • Narration-"...I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip." (page 1) Right from the beginning of the novel, Dickens identified Pip as the main character as well as the narrator.
      • Foil- "Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!" (page 1) This quote was made by Magwitch, the convict that attacked Pip at the beginning of the novel. This quote only made Pip look more innocent and defenseless and made Magwitch look more evil and crooked. Pip was identified as a young orphan who was visiting his parents tombstones as he got attacked by a criminal who escaped incarceration. These two descriptions made each character look opposite of another at this point in time.
      • Setting- "As I was looking out at the iron gate of Bartholomew Close into Little Britain, I saw Miss Jaggers coming across the road towards me." (page 142) During this time in the novel setting was crucial since Pip had to travel to London to collect his fortune.
      • Innuendo-"I give Pirrip as my father's family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister..." (page 1) Immediately we discover that Pip is an orphan without him directly saying so.
      • Local Color- "I am going to London, Miss Pockett.." (page 136) London exists in this novel just as it does in reality. In fact, this is where Dickens grew up.
      • Frame of reference-"Nevertheless, a hackney-coachmen, who seemed to have as many capes to his greasy great-coat as he was years old.." (page 139) During this era, coachmen were extremely common as well as popular.
      • Point of view-"I looked all around for the horrible young man, and could see no signs of him." (page 5) This quotes proves that the point of view is in first person in this novel.
      • Symbol- "I am greatly changed. I wonder you know me." (page 415). This quote by Estella represents change in this novel. All in all, I feel that Estella represents change and recovery throughout the whole novel.


    1. Direct characterization:

    ·         “I took the opportunity of being alone in the courtyard, to look at my coarse hands and my common boots. They had never troubled me before, but they troubled me now, as vulgar appendages.”

    ·         “She had her back towards me, and held her pretty brown hair spread out in her two hands, and never looked round, and passed out of my view directly.”

    Indirect characterization:

    ·         “I cried, kicked the wall and took a hard twist at my hair.”

    ·         “I noticed that Miss Havisham put down the jewel exactly on the spot from which she had taken it up.”

    2. The author’s syntax does change when he is focusing on a character. While narrating, he tells the story in regular English. But when a character is speaking, the English is broken and sometimes unintelligent. “I had not been mistaken in my fancy that there was a simple dignity in him. He touched me gently on the forehead and went out. As soon as I could recover myself sufficiently, I hurried out after him and looked for him in the neighboring streets; but he was gone.” “I wish’, said the other, with a bitter curse upon the cold,’ that I had ‘em here. I’d sell all the friends I ever had, for one, and think it a blessed good bargain…” 

    3. Pip is dynamic and round character. At the beginning of the novel, he was a small, young boy with little chance at becoming successful in life. Then he was presented with the opportunity of being rich and respected. He also went from fearing a man who tried to kill him, to becoming his acquaintance and helping him escape. 

    4. After reading the novel, I feel like I had met a person. Pip is a very easy character to relate to. The love story within the novel helps the reader become attached to Pip. His story pulls at the reader’s heartstrings. “You have always held your place in my heart.” I answered. This line pulls together the whole idea of true love waits. It shows that Pip waited and waited for Estella no matter the cost and he probably would have waited for her until the day he died.

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