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Critique of Arnold A. Markley Critique: Great Expectations

In: English and Literature

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Words 651
Pages 3
Arnold A. Markley is the author of a compelling critical essay about how profound the effects of the novel Great Expectations being published serially had on the plot and characters.
Markley is an extremely credible source for critical analysis. Markley, a professor of English at Pennsylvania State University Brandywine during his lifetime, taught classes on classic Victorian literature and a wide array of other literature-related subjects. His extensive knowledge and experience in the literary arts is evident throughout the entire criticism: he is able to make a deep analysis of Great Expectations that remain relevant to his thesis.
Markley intends to prove that the effects of Great Expectations being published serially greatly altered the way the characters were written and the length of the plot line as compared to the way a modern novel is written. He provides extensive logical reasoning and utilizes background commentary to reaffirm this point. Each installment (or chapter) ends in a fashion similar to this: “But, now I was frightened again, and ran home without stopping,” (13; Ch. 1) which is a clear cliffhanger that is then answered in the following chapter(s). This is a recurring theme that is omnipresent in the novel, as stated by Markley. He demonstrates that the characters are required to remain memorable so they are not forgotten between installments. This is evident in a character like Miss Havisham who is eclectic, only wears her old wedding dress, and says memorable things such as, “Love her, love her, love her! If she favors you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces,--and as it gets older and stronger it will tear deeper,--love her, love her, love her," (197; Ch. 29) that define her personality entirely and are instantaneously recognizable. All other characters, especially minor characters, have defining...

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