Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Discussion | Title: Great Expectations (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: Chapter VII

As the introduction makes clear, scarcely anything was more important to Dickens as a child than reading and education. He repeatedly makes the writing and reading a watershed in a person's life, and the absence of the ability rendering the world incomprehensible. Bleak House hinges on the search for understanding and specifically upon the appearance of a document. Dickens describes a key figure:

To shuffle through the streets, unfamiliar with the shapes, and in utter darkness as to the meaning, of those mysterious symbols, so abundant over the

shops, and at the corners of streets, and on the doors, and in the windows! To see people read, and to see people write, and to see the postmen

delivers letters, and not to have the least idea of all that language—to be to every scrapt of stone-blind and dumb!

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