List the characteristics of the Victorian novel and analyse those which are found in Great Expectations.

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Victorian novels tended to be focused on social class and society.  Although Dickens did not focus on relationships as much as others such as Austen and Thackeray, in Great Expectations he comes the closest as he explores love and social class.

Victorian novels usually had gothic elements.  Gothic elements were dark, grim, and spooky and involved ghosts and gloomy weather.  Great Expectations firmly establishes itself in the gothic by beginning on a gloomy day in a cemetery in the marshes with a convict.  Other gothic elements include Miss Havisham’s creepy, decaying house and Jaggers’s macabre office.

Another key component of the Victorian novel, especially with Dickens, is industrialization.  Dickens always tackled social themes, and the effect on society of the Industrial Revolution.  This is depicted with the juxtaposition between the country life and city life.


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Great Expectations

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