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    The One Thing Needful from the Hard Times by Charles Dickens Essay

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    The One Thing Needful from the Hard Times by Charles Dickens “Hard times, published in 1854, Dickens shortest novel was not popular in its day, though it has since received critical acclaim for its rousing satire against materialism”. This is quote taken from Msn Encarta Encyclopedia. This extract is about a person who is considered to have authority and to be greatly respected telling other grown-ups how he wants children to be taught and how they should be taught, this shows what education in the 19th century might have been like.

    The main purpose of this text is to emphasise what should be taught and how it should be taught and the speaker thinks that by enforcing a teaching method, children will have better lives as it would be based on nothing but facts. This passage makes modern children compare and think about how lucky they are to be able to express how they feel and imagine things.

    The way the word “Facts” is written and repeated shows their importance in the speaker’s life, this also highlights how important the thought of teaching facts is, well at least to the speaker, this explains why it is written as a proper noun with the use of a capital letter, the speaker personifies “Facts”. Dickens deliberately uses repetition to represent the way in which children learn, by repetition. The speaker refers to children in several ways, but his main point is that children learn by things being repeated to them.

    This explains why he calls them “reasoning animals”, because animals learn by things being repeated to them and once they are used to it they would do it automatically. The speaker is trying to say that teaching them facts is like training them to be good, but unlike animals, human beings especially children have opinions and wild imaginations. Dickens uses a metaphor, which could have different meanings. “Plant nothing else and root out everything else”.

    The fact he uses gardening shows that children are just like a garden: they have a lot of things in their heads, but grown-ups have to plant the seeds which are the facts in the garden to be able to make them grow properly. The structure of the passage has a great impact on what the reader thinks about the speaker after having read the first paragraph and after having read the last paragraph. From the way in which the writer describes the speaker, the audience has a clear understanding that the writer does not like the speaker.

    He is not mentioned by any names or titles but as “the speaker”; this leaves the reader to guess his identity and distances himself from the speaker’s view. The description of the speaker matches his sentence structures in the quotes. They are short, snappy and straightforward. Dickens describes him as “square” to show that he is predictable and unchangeable. The speaker makes sure that his point gets across and to do so he uses a harsh, strict tone.

    Dickens uses hyperbole to describe the speaker by describing him using a great deal of exaggeration “square wall of forehead” line 10, “his eyes found commodious cellarage in two dark caves, overshadowed by the wall. ” Line 12, ” a plantation of firs”line 16, “square coat, square legs, square shoulders”line 19. This is shown by the repetition of the word “square” and makes the reader be perceived as the best. Victorian education was Dickens’ main focus in most of his novels.

    He uses different social classes to make the audience especially young people see that education should not be taken for granted and that if they think their teaching system is harsh, they should look at what it used to be like in Victorian times. The language used is not hard however everything is straightforward and easy to understand as well as imagine. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Act 1 scene 1. This scene is a strange opening for a play. Orsino says how much he loves Olivia, but he is told that she is still mourning her brother’s death for seven years.

    Orsino loves her so much that he imagines her being in love with him and compares two different kinds of love: the love she has for her brother and the love that she might have for him one day. The purpose of this text is to engage the reader into the theme of the play and most of the times when something is about love, there is a show of great interest. Shakespeare used a great method by opening with play with rhymes that is guaranteed to catch the reader’s attention. This scene shows the impact love has on people. It makes it interesting that the play opens directly telling the reader what is happening.

    There is no background information, the only piece of information that the reader gets from this extract is that Orsino is the Duke of Illyria and is deeply in love; he sounds a little bit obsessed with the idea of love and this extract allows the reader to see what kind of personality Orsino has. He can be portrayed as someone highly emotional and someone who will fight to get what he wants. The language used in this text is quite hard to understand if you are a young person who is not used to hearing the traditional way of the English language.

    Some words are quite easy to understand, as they are quite similar to the words we use nowadays, or we can relate them somehow. ” Pestilence”line 20 means plague but this could be guessed with “pestilence”. This play uses imagery containing food. Orsino describes his love for Olivia as an appetite: “If music be the food of love play on, Give me excess of it- that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die” line 1-3, he wants to feed his love with music, he wants to feed it so much that he would be full and become sick of it and won’t feel his love anymore. This is also used when Olivia’s grief is described.

    In this case water is used to describe Olivia’s mourning. Shakespeare uses different parts of the body to show the same emotion- love “hart” ” eyes” “liver” ” brain” lines 18 and 27. He constantly uses the sense of smell and taste, “The sweet sound That breathes upon a bank of violets” line 6, “stealing and giving odour” line 7, ” ’tis not sweet now…” Line 8 “Sweet beds of flower” line 40. This may induce some sexual thoughts into the reader’s mind. The language used makes the reader feel what the characters are feeling especially if they have felt like that about someone before.

    The fact that Orsino goes into great detail about his love for Olivia shows the reader that he is willing to do anything to win her heart. The use of abstract nouns, ‘love’ and ‘grief’ makes the reader feel pity for the characters. There is a simile “That, notwithstanding thy capacity, Receiveth as the sea” line 10-11 which suggests that love is like the sea, devouring everything. Nothing can satisfy it. Shakespeare also uses hyperbole to show the love that Orsino has for Olivia and the grief Olivia has for her brother. I don’t think there is a historical context in Twelfth Night; it seems to be purely fictional.

    However this was set in the Elizabethan era. Since Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night a lot has changed and mainly people’s sense of humour, even though this play was a comedy in Shakespearean times it may not be what we call a comedy now. During that time women had a poor role in society, there was this idea of the women not being allowed to do certain things such as, acting therefore, men had to play the role of women and unlike all his other comedies, twelfth night includes a conception of love and other themes which most of his other comedies do not have, this was one of his last three mature comedies.

    Twelfth Night is a celebration of romantic love that can be pictured as traditional romantic love. The play contains many elements of Elizabethan romantic comedy. The things that are in the play are meant to make the audience go through a series of moods. Because this play is a comedy most of the things that happen are meant to make the audience laugh. It does achieve this aim with nearly every character. However in the opening scene, the main emotions that Shakespeare wants the audience to feel are pity and grief. Samaritans This text is about ways to identify people who want to commit suicide and how to help them.

    The purpose of this text is to make the readers aware of things that are happening in their surroundings. This makes the reader think and may prevent many people from committing suicide and to advertise them of what to do. This text is written in interrogative form because this makes the reader wonder and understand the reasons why people would try to commit suicide. I would associate this extract with mostly teenagers, as they are the ones who undergo the situations listed however this can happen to anyone, but mostly teenager would want to commit suicide if they are dumped by their loved ones.

    The first paragraph is written as a question but due to the punctuation it could be classed as a declarative sentence. The first sentence after the first paragraph is a statement, which is followed by a question and then an answer, which doesn’t directly answer the question. Unlike all the other extracts this extract is not fiction therefore it focuses on a more serious issue. The use of bullet points attracts the reader to indulge into the extract and might make some readers want to know more about suicide. This could also restrict those who are trying to commit suicide to what they will tell people.

    Even though this subject is quite delicate, there is no use of euphemisms or dysphemisms. Everything is straight to the point; nothing is exaggerated or left out. There a lot question which are facts that people need to consider in order to look out for themselves and others. The way the questions are posed will make the reader observe the people around them and try to help them if they see any of the suicidal signs. There are 1745 words in this document AUTHOR Fatim Toure Page PAGE 4 DATE 20/02/2006 Reading and comprehension of texts

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