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Word Count: 1,231
Charles Dickens manages to combine in his works wonderful story-telling humour pathos and irony with severe social criticism and acute observation of people and places both real and imagined His Hard Times and Great Expectations are good proof for the above statement Both are written in the second period of Dickens literary career a period marked with pessimism cynicism and indignation Dickens demonstrates exactly that dark truth for the period in his two novels He achieves his precise observation and representation of truth through non-realistic and symbolic strategies as well as through realism Hard Times begins with a short introduction The scene is a classroom in which Dickens depicts the important themes of his hard times a contemporary debate on the nature of learning education and knowledge The narrative content is pretty short but its imagery is very intense The description of the classroom is definitely a satire criticism on utilitarianism and similar philosophies that suggest facts to be more important that imagination As the speaker exclaims Now what I want is Facts the teacher believes that the formation of the childs mind is rooted in the study of facts The novel is divided into three books Sowing Reaping and Garnering The symbolic agricultural motif shows the truth about the utilitarian philosophy used in education The names of the parts are the phases that every farmer knows to be necessary for the growing of crops only the case here is growing facts in the childs mind Similar to Hard Times Dickens later novel Great Expectations is divided in three parts Only here the different parts represent the three phases of the protagonists expectations Being a retrospective autobiographical realistic fiction with moral focus Great Expectations may be called a bildungsroman The bildungsroman begins with the voice of the old Pip who describes what his childish eyes have seen a long time ago in harder times for him but full of great expectations Pips
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