Author Charles Dickens
Type of work Novel
Genres Bildungsroman, social criticism, autobiographical fiction
Time and place written London,
Date of first publication Published serially in England from December
Publisher Serialized in
Climax A sequence of climactic events occurs from Chapter
Setting (time) Mid-nineteenth century
Settings (place) Kent and London, England
Point of view First person
Falling action The period following Magwitch’s capture in Chapter
Tone Comic, cheerful, satirical, wry, critical, sentimental, dark, dramatic, foreboding, Gothic, sympathetic
Themes Ambition and the desire for self-improvement (social, economic, educational, and moral); guilt, criminality, and innocence; maturation and the growth from childhood to adulthood; the importance of affection, loyalty, and sympathy over social advancement and class superiority; social class; the difficulty of maintaining superficial moral and social categories in a constantly changing world
Motifs Crime and criminality; disappointed expectations; the connection between weather or atmosphere and dramatic events; doubles (two convicts, two secret benefactors, two invalids, etc.)
Symbols The stopped clocks at Satis House symbolize Miss Havisham’s attempt to stop time; the many objects relating to crime and guilt (gallows, prisons, handcuffs, policemen, lawyers, courts, convicts, chains, files) symbolize the theme of guilt and innocence; Satis House represents the upper-class world to which Pip longs to belong; Bentley Drummle represents the grotesque caprice of the upper class; Joe represents conscience, affection, loyalty, and simple good nature; the marsh mists represent danger and ambiguity.
Take a Study Break
Every Shakespeare Play Summed Up in a Quote from The Office
Every Marvel Movie Summed Up in a Single Sentence
Macbeth As Told in a Series of Texts
QUIZ: Is This a Great Gatsby Quote or a Lorde Lyric?
QUIZ: Which Coming-of-Age Trope Will You Experience This Summer?
QUIZ: Are You a Hero, a Villain, or an Anti-Hero?
Pick 10 Books and We'll Guess Whether You're an Introvert or an Extrovert