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The introduction to this chapter notes the universality of the novel. Write a poem or short story in a modern setting about an element of the novel that you find universal.

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Read Dickens’s Great Expectations and compare its coming of age theme to that of David Copperfield. Does Pip in the first novel face the same difficulties as David? What accounts for the differences? Make up a chart comparing and contrasting the two in regards to this theme.

Write a report on the treatment of children during the Victorian age. In your research, consider the following questions: How were orphans treated? How realistic was David’s description of his harsh treatment at school? Were there any laws protecting children who were part of the labor force? Choose one of these topics to focus on for your report.

Read a biography of Dickens and find specific parallels to incidents and people in David’s life. Prepare a PowerPoint presentation of your findings.

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Topics for Discussion


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