Understanding Great Expectations: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000 - 228 páginas


More than one hundred years after being written, Great Expectations is still one of the most widely studied works of fiction. This casebook of historical documents, collateral readings and essays brings to life both Dickens' masterpiece and the social issues surrounding his work. The interdisciplinary approach offers students insight into the historically significant issues, such as child welfare, that ignited Dickens' creative and moral sensibilities. Newlin has unearthed significant documentation on the dilemma of Victorian women, supplying original social commentary such as Mary Wollstonecraft's 1792 A Vindication of the Rights of Women, and John Stuart Mill's 1861 The Subjection of Women. This work also addresses the transportation and deportation of convicts with first-hand accounts of the treatment of prisoners. Original materials describing the significance of class distinctions, with demographic data from 1834, point up the socio-economic gaps that stratified Victorian society. Other primary documents describe the physical settings such as the Marsh Country and the river, and Bow Street in London, that figure prominently in Great Expectations. This collection of sources will help broaden students' understanding of Great Expectations and places it within its historical context.

A literary analysis chapter introduces students to the important themes and various writing techniques employed by Dickens. Each subsequent chapter offers original essays and explication of historical documents on significant issues. Each section concludes with thought-provoking study questions, topics for research, and lists of suggested readings. This volume will enhance students' reading of this classic and will facilitate further research for student and teacher alike.

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Contenido

1 A Literary Analysis of Great Expectations
1
2 What Was a Gentleman in the Early Nineteenth Century?
31
The Dilemma of Victorian Women
69
4 Apprenticeship and the Blacksmith
111
5 Crime and Punishment in Great Expectations
129
6 The Hulks and Penal Transportation
143
Making a Fortune in the Outback
167
8 The Bow Street Police
181
9 English Private Theaters in the Early Nineteenth Century
187
10 The Marsh Country and the River
201
Index
217
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Página 101 - ... of suing and being sued, either in contract or in tort, or otherwise, in all respects as if she were a, feme sole, and her husband need not be joined with her as plaintiff or defendant, or be made a party to any action or other legal proceeding brought by or taken against her ; and any damages or costs recovered by her in any such action or proceeding shall be her separate property ; and any damages or costs recovered against her in any such action or proceeding shall be payable out of her separate...
Página 19 - cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the side of the church porch. " Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat ! " A fearful man, all in coarse gray, with a great iron on his leg.
Página 41 - Dress yourself fine, where others are fine; and plain where others are plain; but take care always that your clothes are well made, and fit you, for otherwise they will give you a very awkward air.
Página 39 - Take, rather than give, the tone of the company you are in. If you have parts, you will show them, more or less, upon every subject; and, if you have not, you had better talk sillily upon a subject of other people's than of your own choosing. Avoid as much as you can, in mixed companies, argumentative...
Página 39 - Talk often, but never long ; in that case, if you do not please, at least you are sure not to tire your hearers. Pay your own reckoning, but do not treat the whole company ; this being one of the very few cases in which people do not care to be treated, every one being fully convinced that he has wherewithal to pay. Tell stories very seldom, and absolutely never but where they are very apt, and very short. Omit...
Página 91 - That the principle which regulates the existing social relations between the two sexes - the legal subordination of one sex to the other - is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be re/\ placed by a principle of perfect equality, admitting no power [or privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other.
Página 101 - Every contract entered into by a married woman shall be deemed to be a contract entered into by her with respect to and to bind her separate property, unless the contrary be shewn.
Página 94 - Men do not want solely the obedience of women, they want their sentiments. All men, except the most brutish, desire to have, in the woman most nearly connected with them, not a forced slave but a willing one; not a slave merely, but a favourite.
Página 94 - It is, that human beings are no longer born to their place in life, and chained down by an inexorable bond to the place they are born to, but are free to employ their faculties, and such favourable chances as offer, to achieve the lot which may appear to them most desirable.

Acerca del autor (2000)

GEORGE NEWLIN is an independent scholar who manages to combine his background in the legal profession with his passion for the arts and literature. He is the author of Understanding A Tale of Two Cities (1998) for the Greenwood Press Literature in Context series. He is the compiler and editor of the three-volume Everyone in Dickens (Greenwood, 1995), and Everything in Dickens (Greenwood, 1996).

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