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charles dickens - In Great Expectations, who is the man at the pub in Chapter Ten?

In Chapter 10 of Dickens's Great Expectations, Pip goes to the pub to find Joe, as told by his sister. When he enters the pub, Joe and Mr. Wopsle are sitting at a table next to a mysterious man: He was a secret-looking man whom I had never seen before. His head was all on one side, and one of his eyes was half shut up, as if he were taking aim at something with an invisible gun. He had a pipe in his mouth, and he took it out, and, after slowly blowing all his smoke away and looking hard at me all the time, nodded.Pip would have immediately rec...Read more

charles dickens - Are Nicholas's sentiments on playwrights those of his creator?

In chapter 48 of Nicholas Nickleby, Dickens expresses quite strong views on writers of plays adapted from books: 'Shot beyond him [Shakespear], I mean,' resumed Nicholas, 'in quite another respect, for, whereas he brought within the magic circle of his genius, traditions peculiarly adapted for his purpose, and turned familiar things into constellations which should enlighten the world for ages, you drag within the magic circle of your dulness, subjects not at all adapted to the purposes of the stage, and debase as he exalted. For instan...Read more

charles dickens - Use of 'Genius' in Nicholas Nickleby?

In Nicholas Nickleby, people use the word "genius" to describe people they don't even know and in such a way that I do not believe it has the same meaning as we now use it with.For instance, Mr Crowl says the following in Chapter 15: "and I'll tell you what's more-I think these two geniuses, whoever they are,..."This is not the only time I have come across the word used strangely; however, I have also read it used as we use it now: describing someone of exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.What is Dickens's meani...Read more