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Great Expectations is one of Dickens' later works and considered one of his best. It is notable for it's more naturalistic depiction of characters; here motivations and personal viewpoints form the heart of the narrative. The story follows the arc of a young orphan's life as he first tries to raise himself to a higher station in life and finally discovers the solution to some mysteries and comes to terms with himself.
Lady Audley has a secret - necessity turns Robert Audley, her aristocrat step-nephew, into a detective bent on uncovering it. Lady Audley's Secret is a compelling example of the Victorian sensation novel, the genre that focused on shocking subject matter jarringly presented in familiar or domestic settings. Originally published in 1862 it has remained in print ever since and retains its power to challenge and entertain.
The writings of Charles Dickens were often critical of society and government. This satire, Little Dorrit was also an outlet for Dickens' opinion of prison, particularly debtor's prisons. There people (including Dickens' own) who failed to pay their debts were imprisoned, paradoxically unable to work, until the debt was repaid. The story of Little Dorrit (whose father is imprisoned for debt) tells of the courtship between herself and Arthur Clennam and demonstrates the grim effects of imprisonment on those within as well as those beyond but whose lives are inextricably intertwined.
The story Master and Man tells the tale of a master and his peasant who journey to another town for business in a blizzard. Lost on their way, the peasant begins to suffer from hypothermia verging on death. The master nonetheless feels compelled to press on in the journey until a moral revelation befalls him. How will he try to save his peasant? A very moving story. Classic Tolstoy story-telling.
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