How do literary elements explore a social or political issue and how does it contribute to the work as a whole?How do literary elements explore a social or political issue and how does it...

How do literary elements explore a social or political issue and how does it contribute to the work as a whole?

How do literary elements explore a social or political issue and how does it contribute to the work as a whole?

Asked on by ruthdjones

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The element of satire contributes greatly to Charles Dickens's portrayal of what he considered a frivolous aristocracy and a shallow rising middle class that aspired to this upper class.  Especially in the portrayal of Uncle Pumblechook and Sarah Pocket, Dickens's satiric humor accomplishes much in the way of ridicule of the superficialities of these people.

You may wish to review Chapter 23 in which Mrs. Pocket reads from a book of titles as her children "tumble" dangerously over her in her abstraction.  Also, refer to Chapter 28 in which Pip reads in the paper at the Boar's Nest how the pretentious Uncle Pumblechook has taken credit for Pip's success.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is a very sophisticated question. I think what you are getting at is the idea that form is a conveyor of meaning as much as the content. In this way, the literary elements speak of the the world as much as what is actually written. So, if a literary piece is about war and the atrocities of war, then the literary devices can add to the horror of war. For example, the work can use metaphors that speak of death or use symbolisms that speak of horror. All of these can be every effective in getting our emotion involved. In fact, it can be more powerful than words.

In light of this, a work with literary elements that add to the theme will make that work deeper. It will give it a dimension that words cannot.

 

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