Summary Of Three Charles Dickens Books English Literature Essay

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Oliver Twist, a boy whos mother died, is an orphan. He grew up with Mr and Mrs Bumble in his childhood. When he reached the age of ten, it became too expensive for Mr and Mrs Bumble to pay his education. They put him in a workhouse with pain in their hearts.

Oliver was very unhappy in this workhouse. After the lads incited him to do so, he asked for more food. They kicked him out of the workhouse. Now, he had to take care of himself. He asked Mr and Mrs Bumble for help. Mr Bumble looked for another workhouse, were he could work as a domestic drudge.

His boss locked him up in the cellar, after a big struggle with a friend of his master. Luckily he could get away and went to London by foot. On his way to London he met a man who knew an address he could stay at in London. Over there he ended up with Mr Fagin (the Jew). In Mr Fagin's house he rested for a while and recovered his strength. Mr Fagin was, however, a thief and he taught Oliver how to rob people.

Oliver's first criminal act was to rob an older man, Mr Brownlow, who just came out of a bookstore. He noticed and called the police. After some time he was arrested. At the police station the supervisor asked himself what to do with such a young and weak lad. Mr Brownlow offered him to bring Oliver up. Oliver wanted this very badly. After a few days, when he had recovered his strength, he had to bring a book to the bookstore and Mr Brownlow gave him five pounds.

On the way Mr Sikes and Nancy (friends of Mr Fagin) took him back to The Jew. Mr Fagin was very disappointed in Oliver because he had given him food and brought him back on his feet when he needed it. So Oliver owns nothing himself and he had to steal again for Mr Fagin. Mr Brownlow stayed alone at home and was very disappointed.

On his first new robbery Mr Sikes went with him. They had to rob a house, they failed and were got in the act. Oliver could not get away and stayed behind in the cellar. The owners (two nice ladies) of the house discovered Oliver and they found him so weak and small that they also want to bring him up. Oliver told them his life story and they promised to look for Mr Brownlow.

After a long time they found Mr Brownlow and he was very happy to see Oliver again. Oliver and Mr Brownlow were reunited and were both very happy. Oliver then grows up like a normal boy and went to school.

Explain the title.

The whole novel turns on the life of Oliver Twist.

What is the theme of the book and why?

In the beginning it shows that Oliver Twist started to go down a bad path. Because of his attitude and because he meets the right people that doesn't happen.

The message of the author is that you must have faith in yourself and in humanity.

Which genre does the book belong to and why?

The book is going about Fiction and Social criticism. Because it is a fictional story about the social life in that time.

Which of the characters could you identify with best and why?

The three main characters in the story are:

Oliver Twist, Mr. Brownlow and Mr Fagin.

Oliver Twist is an orphan, a weak and young child. He is also susceptible to influence of adults.

Mr Brownlow is a rich older men who, from the first moment on, felt that Oliver was a fine lad.

Mr Fagin is an old "Jew" who manages a gang of young pickpockets for his own profit.

I could identify Oliver twist with best because you are looking through his eyes, you can see, feel en move like you Oliver.

Choose a quotation from the book, which is exemplary to the book, and explain why you have chosen this quotation.

"Please, Sir, I want some more". Oliver, asking the cook at the workhouse for more gruel.  Pg. 12

This shows how bad it was to live in that time.

Choose a scene from the beginning, the middle and towards the end of the book you like best / least / impressed you most / disappointed you. And explain why?

The scene when Fagin is arrested and condemned to the gallows Oliver goes to Newgate Gaol to visit the old reprobate on the eve of his hanging, (where Fagin's terror at being hanged has caused him to come down with fever). Because it is an very emotional scene.

Charles Dickens - Great Expectations

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Charles Dickens


Great Expectations





Pickwick Papers

number of pages

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This book is about Pip (Philip Pirrip). He is a young orphan who is living with his older sister and her husband in Kent. His parents died a long time ago, and one day Pip is visiting their grave. Suddenly, an escaped convict jumps up, and grabs Pip. He orders him to bring him food and a file. Pip is scared, because the convict said, "if you don't do it, I will get your heart and liver out of your body".

Pip is taken to Satis House, where the rich Miss Havisham lives with a beautiful young girl named Estella. Miss Havisham is a strange person and is very disappointed in life. Her boyfriend left her, on the day that was supposed to be their wedding day. She is still really sad, and every day she wears her wedding dress. Estella is a cold and cruel person. Although Estella isn't nice to Pip, he falls in love with her.

When Pip, his sister and his brother-in-law, Joe Gragery (a blacksmith), are eating, Mr. Jaggers comes in. He is a lawyer, and has big news. An anonymous benefactor has given Pip a fortune, so he can be a gentleman. He has to go to London with the lawyer, where his lessons 'how to be a gentleman' will be given. Pip goes to London, but first he says goodbye to Miss Havisham and Estella.

In London Pip meets a young (gentle)man. His name is Herbert Pocket. He also meets Jaggers clerk, Wemmick.

When Pip is a gentleman he feels to good for his family and old friends. He treats them coldly, especially Joe, because he is just a blacksmith. Only Estella he treats the same, cause he still has a crush on her.

Many years later Pip meets the anonymous benefactor. He is really frightened, because the benefactor is the convict he met many years before. The convict, named Magwitch, made Pip a gentleman, because he feels he owes him that for giving him food so he didn't have to go back to jail, and could make a fortune.

But Magwitch is still a criminal and also a convict. He asks Pip to help him escape, because the police are searching for him. Pip agrees and together with another man, Herbert, they try to cross the river. During that journey Pip and Magwitch talk a lot together. Pip finds out that Magwitch is the father of Estella. Magwitch thought she was dead.

The police are coming really soon behind them. There's another boat coming as well. They can't go away. The police catch them and a cop and Magwitch are fighting. Together they fall in the water. Magwitch falls on the boat. He's hurt. The police catch them. Magwitch is sentenced to death, and Pip loses his fortune (which he made during his 'being a gentleman-time'). Pip is also put in jail, but when Joe pays his bail, he is free.

His sister had been attacked and died a while later. During the time between her attack and her death, Biddy nurses her. Biddy is a close friend of Pip.

When Pip is free, he goes to Biddy and tells her that he really, really likes her. He was probably going to propose to her, when Joe walks in. They tell Pip that they are going to get married! Pip says he is happy for them.

Then Pip goes to Miss Havisham. During a conversation with her, he finds out why she raised Estella so coldly. She wanted Éstella to be the one who broke hearts, who was in control. She raised her as coldly as she did, because then she wouldn't have real feelings, so she wouldn't get hurt (but it is just the other way round, Estella doesn't get respect from men, and is unhappy).

When Pip leaves, Miss Havisman bents over to the fireplace, and goes up in flame. Pip tries to rescue her, but it didn't help. She dies.

Pip goes to Cairo to make money. When he returns many years later, he visits the Satis House. He discovers that Estella lives here now. She had been married, but her husband had treated her badly. Her coldness became sad kindness. Luckily for her, her husband died. Pip and Estella talk things over, and came to the conclusion that they really like each other.

Explain the title.

The title of the book is Great Expectations. The explanation of this title is the Great Expectations that Pip has of life. In the beginning he has not many expectations, but when he can go to London to become a gentleman, his expectations about what life has to offer, become bigger and bigger, until they are Great Expectations

What is the theme of the book and why?

The theme is life, and the good and bad things life has to offer. Pip is growing up and learning about life and being a gentleman. The good things, the bad things and, of course, the sad things and the disappointments.

Which genre does the book belong to and why?

It's a developing roman, because Pip, the main-character goes through a character-change. Starting as a boy who doesn't know about the worlds and growing up to be a very sophisticated grown-up.

Which of the characters could you identify with best and why?

The only real main-character is Pip. Through his eyes we experience the story, we see him growing up and becoming a man.

Other, less important, characters are Estella: Pip has fallen in love with her, eventhough she is such a cold and cruel person.

Miss Havisman, she is the one who raised Estella.

Magwitch, he is the escaped convict. He gave the money to Pip so that Pip could become a gentleman.

He is the father of Estella.

Joe Gargary, he is Pips brother-in-law. He's a man with a heart of gold, he buys Pip out of prison in spite of the fact that Pip hadn't be nice for him.

Biddy, she is a friend of Pip since they were little. She falls is love with Joe and marries him (after his wife died). Pip also had a crush on her.

Choose a quotation from the book, which is exemplary to the book, and explain why you have chosen this quotation.

"Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication I have got to make is, that he has great expectations." Its referring to the title of the book: The Great Expectations.

Choose a scene from the beginning, the middle and towards the end of the book you like best / least / impressed you most / disappointed you. And explain why?

On Christmas Eve of 1812, Pip, a boy aged 7, encounters an escaped convict in the village churchyard while visiting his family's many graves. The convict scares Pip into stealing food for him and a file to grind away his leg shackles. He threatens Pip not to tell anyone and do as he says or his friend will cut out Pip's liver. Pip returns home, where he lives with Mrs. Joe, his older sister, and her husband Joe Gargery. His sister is very cruel and beats him and Joe regularly, while Joe is much more kind to Pip. Early the next morning, Pip steals food and drink from the Gargery pantry (including a pie for their Christmas feast) and sneaks out to the graveyard. It is the first time in Pip's life he's felt truly guilty. This is an important event in the book because the convict will never forget the kindness (albeit forced) that Pip showed to him. The convict, however, waits many years to fully show his gratitude.

Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol

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Charles Dickens


A Christmas Carol




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Scrooge was an old man in the 18th century. He was the boss of a factory. The factory was owned by Scrooge and his good friend Marley. His partner Marley then died  and Scrooge was alone with the factory. Scrooge was a very greedy man. He didn't spend much money and he tried to live as cheaply as possible. He was a very strict boss for his employees. He gave them very little money.

It was the Christmas time and everyone was very happy and good to each other. The carolers who saw Scrooge began to sing for him. They wished him a good Christmas. But Scrooge didn't like Christmas and he didn't give any bonuses to his employees. One of his eEmployees was Mr. Cratchit. Mr Cratchit had a very large family to take care of. His family contained two daughters and three sons. The youngest child was Little Tim. He needed surgery on his leg. Mr Cratchit didn't have the money for the surgery. He asked his boss Scrooge if he could have an advance on his money so he can pay for ther surgery. Scrooge said no because he didn't want to pay the money.

On Christmas Eve the Cratchit family had only a very small turkey to eat. That evening Scrooge was walking to his home to go to bed. He checked that all the doors were shut. He got in his bed and fell asleep. Later he woke up because of a loud noise. There was a Spirit before Scrooge's bed. Scrooge was very afraid and he looked at the Spirit. He saw that it was the Spirit of his old partner Marley. Marley had a chain on his leg. Marley began to talk to Scrooge. He told Scrooge that he must change his way of living. He told Scrooge that if he continues this way of living he would become a Spirit like himself. Marley told Scrooge also that three spirits will visit him. Then the spirit went away and Scrooge watched him fly away.

Scrooge went back to bed and thought about what Marley said about his way of living. Scrooge felt asleep again. Scrooge was awoken by the bells on his clock and he saw that it was almost the time that the first spirit shall come to visit him. Scrooge thought that he had slept for a whole day. The first spirit was the Ghost of the Christmas Past. She started to talk with Scrooge. She wanted to take Scrooge back to the past and she told Scrooge to follow her. They went to the places where Scrooge was when he was a little boy. He was all alone and sad at Christmas. The spirit wanted to show Scrooge how it is to be very poor at Christmas. She showed Scrooge how the poor people have to live when it is Christmas. Scrooge didn't have any feelings for the poor people yet. That's why the spirit brought him to many other places. All the places that she showed him were very sad and Scrooge couldn't take it anymore. He wanted to go back to his own house. The spirit brought him to one other place. After that place she brought Scrooge to his own bed. Scrooge thought about his past and all the things he hadn't done well in his live.

Next the second spirit came to Scrooge. This spirit was called the Ghost of the Christmas Present. This spirit showed Scrooge some places where he was a short time ago. Scrooge was not being nice to other people at these places. The spirit and Scrooge went to the house of the poor family Cratchit. They were having Christmas at the time that Scrooge arrived. Scrooge saw how poor the family really was and how little money they have to share with nine people. The family only had that little turkey for the whole family. Scrooge began to feel bad about the way how he treated poor families. After this Scrooge and the second spirit went back to Scrooge's house.

Then came the third and last spirit. This spirit was called The Ghost of thes Christma Yet To Come. This spirit showed Scrooge places in the future. Scrooge wasn't there in the future. The spirit showed Scrooge how the future would be if Scrooge wouldn't change his behaviour. Scrooge saw that the future wasn't fair and good. He realised that he must change his way of living. Scrooge felt very sad and he questioned the spirit. The spirit answered with things that Scrooge had said. Those were bad things and Scrooge didn't now what to do. Then the spirit and Scrooge went to the house of Mr. Cratchit. Little Tim was dead and the family thought about him. They were very sad and unhappy. Scrooge knows that Little Tim was dead because his father couldn't pay the surgery he needed. Scrooge wanted to change and he asked how to the third spirit. The spirit didn't answer and went away.

Scrooge was in his home and he looked out his window. He saw a boy at the street. He realised now that all the spirits came at the same night. He asked the boy if the turkey at the shop was still for sale. The boy said that the turkey was still for sale. Scrooge said that he really needed the turkey. The boy went to the shop and Scrooge bought the turkey. After that Scrooge went to some places to wish people a Merry Christmas. He went also to the family Cratchit and gave them the turkey. Everybody was very happy to see Scrooge like this. The next day he was waiting at his factory. Mr. Cratchit arrived late. Scrooge didn't was very angry and said to Mr. Cratchit that he would get more money. They were both happy and went to drink on a Merry Christmas. The family Cratchit now has enough money now for the surgery. After the surgery Little Tim was healed.

Explain the title.

The title is a Christmas carol. And the story takes place around Christmas, and a carol is song.

What is the theme of the book and why?

The theme of the book is obvious: you have to be good for other people. It's not only about thinking of yourself. You should not be greedy, but give other people a good life. Money is certainly not the most important in life. You may like Scrooge: more than enough money and a house and a fabric, but that certainly does not mean that you thereby immediately happy. Scrooge was always lonely while he was still rich. Money is not important, what matters is whether you're happy. To be happy you have to nice against other people and not just good for yourself, especially in the days around Christmas. One example is that Scrooge ignores the people who are singing a good Christmas. It relates to the fact that you cannot just think about yourself, but you try to make other people happy. On this way, you will also be happy faster.

Which genre does the book belong to and why?

Social criticism, because the book gives a problem of the society. The problem is that people are greedy and they are not kind to others.

Which of the characters could you identify with best and why?

Ebenezer Scrooge: he is a miserly old skinflint. He hates everyone, especially children. He is very rich but not very generous, but in the end he is a nice man. You are looking through his eyes.

Other less important people:

Jacob Marley: He was Scrooge's business partner but now he is dead and he warned Scrooge that he has to be nice.

Bob Cratchit: he is poor. He works hard and he is a good man.

Ghost 1: he is from the past, Ghost 2: he is from the present, Ghost 3: he is from the future. They all want that Scrooge turn to a nice man that gives to other people.

Choose a quotation from the book, which is exemplary to the book, and explain why you have chosen this quotation.

"It is required of every man," the Ghost [of Marley] returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death." (Stave One). It is a nice quotation of the book of the ghost that speaks to Scrooge.

Choose a scene from the beginning, the middle and towards the end of the book you like best / least / impressed you most / disappointed you. And explain why?

``I don't know what day of the month it is!'' said Scrooge. ``I don't know how long I've been among the Spirits. I don't know anything. I'm quite a baby. Never mind. I don't care. I'd rather be a baby. Hallo! Whoop! Hallo here!''

He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. Clash, clang, hammer, ding, dong, bell. Bell, dong, ding, hammer, clang, clash! Oh, glorious, glorious!

Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his stirring, cold cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious!

I chose this chapter because Scrooge has been changed to another person. First he was a person who didn't gave money to poor people. He also didn't like Christmas because he never celebrated Christmas with his family. But now he changed into a person who wants to celebrate Christmas and wants to spend his money on poor people. He is a nicer person to everybody and he is now a very happy person because the three spirits had changed his way of living.

Information about Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffham Dickens was born in Landport in Portsmouth on February 7, 1812 the son of John Dickens and Elizabeth Barrow. When he was ten, the family moved to London. Because of financial difficulties his father (he was put in jail for debt) was the young Charles left school to work. So he landed at age twelve in a blacking factory where he had to work ten hours a day. The living conditions of workers had been a major topic in his later work. Considering his own education, he used every moment of his free time in the British Museum. The fact that his father was responsible for his lack of education places Dickens in the category of writers, whose father-son conflict at the root of their writing. But what differs from other writers is that a strong father in their own careers were thwarted. For Dickens, it is the father who was a Flierefluiter (later, the son was sweet success, John's father sent the ordinary creditors to him), while the son is doing everything possible to "make". Dickens must certainly in the first place a "commercial" writer called. The artistic achievement came earlier "nevertheless".

When he was fifteen, Dickens went to work at a law firm. When he was eighteen, he got his first job as a journalist. In that time, his first love. The "object of his affection" (Mary Bradwell one) but belonged to a higher class than Dickens, and that is simply insurmountable in the stiff England as we all know it. The hopeless relationship lasted four years and not long afterwards Dickens married to Catherine Hogarth. It was what we then called a "marriage". Dickens was now become so wealthy that his younger brother Fred and sister Mary Catherine seventeen when they boarded. Dickens was in love with Mary, but in May 1837 have already died before any problems could result from it. Another sister, Georgina, came to the place and like Mozart was in love with the Dickens half sister. But not his legal wife, with whom he annually for ten years, however, fathered a child. They all reached adulthood, which at that time it was exceptional. The eldest son (Charles Jr.) would be left to the writings of his father's care and the eighth, Henry Fielding (no doubt named after the author), became a doctor and later received a knighthood ".

Dickens himself had meanwhile learned shorthand reporter and had room for the "Morning Chronicle" became (1835). In those days arose from his journalistic work his first literary work in the form of descriptions of London life and the outdoors. These were later combined under the title "Sketches by Boz" (1836-1837). "Boz" was the nickname of his younger brother Moses, who was always cold.

Many of his works appeared initially in the form of serials in various magazines and were later published as a book. Some of his works were published in this way the magazine "Household Words" and he edited its successor, "All the Year Round".

His best known with his "The Pickwick Papers" (the word "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club"), which from 1836 appeared in monthly episodes. After the success of this appeared in quick succession "Oliver Twist" (1837-1838), "Nicholas Nickleby" (1838-1839), "The Old Curiosity Shop" from 1841 (with it the character Little Nell, based on Mary Hogarth) and " Barnaby Rudge "(also from 1841), some by Edgar Allan Poe in a review of 1841 as the first literary attempt at a" mystery novel "is considered, albeit artfully concealed as historical novel (a bit like" The name of the Rose "later). It will also take until 1844 - because it was obviously a "serial" as the other works mentioned - before the first private detective enters the book, especially Mr.Nadgett (p.528 in the book published).

In many cases the books of Dickens vehicles for social ills to denounce, but that was never at the expense of building a good story and strong characterization. Also humor is an important part of his narrative. At first sight, he first of all a "realists" may be called, but the habit at the end of the books are always good over evil to triumph (also the key to his success), together with an ever-present sentimentality, typically romantic.

In 1842 he traveled to the United States, where he pleaded for others the abolition of slavery. Later (see the incident with Mark Twain, which I have a moment) he would make half tour. (**)

In 1843, the first and most famous of his Christmas stories: "A Christmas Carol in Prose", a story that continues in various operations (usually built around the character of the heartless miser Scrooge whose heart is) is performed and filmed, of course Christmas time. From then Dickens wrote a touching Christmas story almost every year, most of which ( "The Chimes", "The Cricket on the Hearth", "The Battle of Life" and "The Haunted Man") the level of "A Christmas Carol" almost equal .

From 1853 to 1870 Dickens also acted regularly, where he read his own work. These he orchestrated his own texts often substantially. These public appearances were a big success, people like him in this area compare with a certain Tom Lanoye (there exists a negative review of Mark Twain's famous, but when Dickens was already old and sick). He was even a deserving actor, which befitted not only because it "amateur" has remained, he had reportedly else can easily earn a living as a professional actor. His dealings in the theater world (he wrote himself a few pieces in 1836 were compiled in "The Village Coquettes" also appeared in 1857 in "The Frozen Deep") earned him an already flirting with the much younger actress Ellen Ternan. Dickens lived at that time divorced from his wife, though he continued to Victorian England "happily married". Georgina lived with him and is not her sister ...

He was not happy and that has led to include it on a September day in 1860 all his personal letters and other papers that had no business interest has burned. This is a wealth of information lost, because almost all the major writers of his time had ever written a letter to him, but he felt a surge of letters was a time (comparable to the current mail or postings on social networking as Facebook or Twitter) and thus did not need to be kept.

Fortunately, there are novels and are therefore in the first place "David Copperfield" (1849-1850, his first novel in first person, it is largely autobiographical, though it is not immediately clear who or behind the sneaky villain Uriah Heep, the villain who unmasks sympathetic, Micawber, an alterego of Dickens' father is however well known), "Great Expectations" (1860-1861) and the aforementioned "Oliver Twist" and "Nicholas Nickleby" .

Writing style of Charles Dickens

Many critics have pointed out that Dickens' work has little depth and only wants to entertain. It is certainly true that Dickens wrote entertaining and was an entertainer, in many of his lectures. In addition, there is indeed depth in his work, certainly the social conscience. But his real strength lies in the animation of his characters, his humor and easy writing style. His books are characterized by sharp character sketches, well-constructed story lines, a gripping plot and poetic and humorous writing style. A key theme in his work, are the living conditions of workers. Since his death he hasn't lost much popularity and is still one of the most widely read English authors. This makes it still worth the reading the books of Charles Dickens.


Now, after I read the books, I know why the books of Charles Dickens are so popular. They are very easy to read but sometimes I had some struggle with the English words he used. They gave a good example how it was in that time. That's what I really liked about it, you didn't read just to read, but it the book of Charles wants to tell you something. He wants to tell what was for example wrong in that time. Many of his books goes about the living conditions of the workers. So these books were good for my English but also I learned something about the social conscience.

I really enjoyed it, and I certainly read more of Charles in the future!