MINISTRY OF HIGHER AND SECONDARY SPECIAL EDUCATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
GULISTAN STATE UNIVERSITY
«Stylistic Features of Charles Dickens’s works»
Charles Dicken’s works
1.1 General Notes on Charles Dicken’s works
Charles Dickens was born at Land-port, then a suburb of Portsmouth, where his father held a clerkship in the Navy Pay Office. He spent his youth at Chatham and London where he had to submit to a life of great hardship. His father being imprisoned for debt, the boy was, for a time, packer in a London blacking warehouse. Later he was placed in a solicitor's office, where he acquired the knowledge of legal affairs afterwards displayed in his novels. The boy's education was mainly achieved by extensive reading and keen observation of people and things around him. In 1831 Dickens obtained an engagement as parliamentary reporter. Before long he tried his hand at original composition, and wrote short descriptive essays on the London scenes familiar to him, collected as Sketches by Boz in 1835. The success of the Sketches decided the course of his life. The immense popularity of his next publication The Posthumous Papers of tlie Pickwick Club (1836–37) spread his fame all over Europe. The remainder of his life's story is a record of literary triumphs and of his visits to America (1842 and 1867), Italy, France and Switzerland. In 1858 Dickens began to give public readings from his works, which, due to his great histrionic talent, proved an extraordinary success.
Dickens created a series of novels, specially notable for critical and for comic talent, for critical treatment of Victorian England. All Dickens's great works – Oliver Twist (1837–38), Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1838–39), The Old Curiosity Shop (1843–44), Mar-tin Chuzzlewit (1843–44), Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son (1846–48), The Personal History of David Copperfield (1849–50), Bleak House (1852–53), Hard Times for These Times (1854), Little Dorrit (1855–57), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860–61) – carry a profound moral message. At the same time Dickens is bent on Correcting public grievances, like the defects of the new outrageous Poor Law and the workhouse system, the miseries of the debtors' prisons, the clumsiness and injustice of the governmental and legal systems. Dickens-is at his best at depicting low and middle-class life and at inventing unforgettable striking characters. A great many of them have become recognized types in English fiction.
Dickens also tried his hand at the historical novel, as in Barnaby Radge (1840–41) and A Tale of Two Cities, at a vast number of short stories and also at writing for the stage. His last novels include Our Mutual Friend (1864–65) and the unfinished detective story of The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870).
Among the most popular and productive novelist as Charles Dickens, whose combined social Critism with comedy and sentiment to create a tone that the world identifies as Victorian lake chancer and Shakespeare before him. Dickens enjoyed inviting or vast array of memorable character in novels such as «Olive Twist (1837 -39), «A Tale of Two Cities» (1899) and «Great expectative (1860–61) His heart felt Critism helped to change British institution that badly needed reform, especially prisons and schools Charles Dickens was the most popular British author of the Victorian Age, the more than a hundred years after his death his work is still popular both in print and in dramatic and musical versions. The magic that millions still find in Dickens novels can be traced at least in part to the eccentric, colorful array of characters that he created, the gullible Rickwick of «The Rickwick Papers». (1836–37) the villainous Fagin of «Oliver Twist» (1837–39) the pathetic little Nell of «The Old Curiosity Shop (1840–41) the misetly zeroage of «A Christmas Card» (1843) the Shiffles Micarofer of «David Copperfield» (1849–50), the bite Miss Havisham of «Great Expectations» (1860–1861).
The basis for many of these characters lies in Dickens own experience. In fact many people believe that his father was the model for Micawber and his mother inspired Mrs Nickleby in «Nicholas Rickelby» (1838–39).Dickens was born in Portsmouth in Southern England, the second of eight children. His father was a clerk who worked or the navy. The family repeatedly moved in order to escape creditors. When his father was finally sent to a debtor’s prison Charles, then twelve begun working in a warehouse pasting labels on pots of shoe blacking. After a sudden inheritance improved the family’s fortunes, Charles found work at a lawyer’s clerk and then as a reporter. His literary career begum with the success of «Secteles by Bor», a collection of vulgates about life in the city that he wrote for a London newspaper:» Bor» led to «The Pickwick Paper» his first novel.
While Dickens has entertained millions with his novels, he also intended them as mean of social reform, Human welfare could not keep place with the technological advances of his time, and Dickens did much to expose evil by products of industrializing: child labor, debtors prisons, ruinous financial speculation, inhuman legal procedures, and mismanagement of schools, orphanages, prisons, and hospitals.
Dickens many novels add up to a vast panorama of human nature and specifically of Victorian life. One except from one novel is very small simple indeed.
The following selection from «Oliver Twist «, however, can be read as a serial installment. When Charles Dickens was ten years old his taken to prison for dept.
Little Charles Dickens was the second of eight children had to go to work in a blacking factory, where he worked from early morning till late at night. When his father came out school. But at15 he left school to work as or clerk in lawyer’s office. As a reporter in Parliament made him acquainted with the government, and aroused in him or deep contempt for the English parliamentary systems contempt that lasted all his life and reflected in many of his life and reflected in many of his works becoming with «The Pickwick Club» (1836–37).In his work there is much humor. But flu humor is often turned info irony and satire. Which the author used as powerful weapon with which to criticize and expose various evils in English social and political life, the capitalist exploiting system of workhouses in «Oliver Twist» (1838), bourses, so-called education in «Nicholas Nicely «(1839)» David Copperfield» (1850) and others, capitalist cruelty and injustice in all his works. In 1836 dickens was asked by a firm of publishers to write a letter for a series of etchings. His work exceeded the stimulated task and thus «The Dartmouth Papers of the «Pickwick Club «solo publications. This work at once lifted Dickens info the foremast rank as popular writers of fictions. He followed up this triumph with a quick succession of costuming novels in which he mastery depicted the life of contemporary society. His «Oliver Twist «deals with social problems. The novel ends in a happy issue which has become a characteristic feature of the greater part of Dickens works. His next novel «The book deals with another burning question of the day that of the education of children in English private schools. Immediately after the publication of the novel Dickens was bombarded with letters protesting the statement. But the facts being ascertained, a school reform was carried out in England. Dickens next publication was «The old Curiosity Shop «.
In 1841 he visited the USA and Canada to lecture on his works on his works. On his return he wrote «American Notes «and a novel «Martin Chuzzlewit «.In these two books Dickens gives a highly realistic picture of American bourgeoisie society its hypsography, ignorance and greed. He shows the disgusting in influence of money and directs all the force of his satire against False American democracy against slavery, and the corruption of the American press.
Although Dickens never rose to the revolutionary level he was one of those writers who all his life used his pen in the fight against the evils of the capitalist system.
1.2 Charles Dickens' periods
Much of our modern difficulty, in religion and other things, arises merely from this: that we confuse the word «indefinable» with the word «vague.» If some one speaks of a spiritual fact as «indefinable» we promptly picture something misty, a cloud with indeterminate edges. But this is an error even in commonplace logic. The thing that cannot be defined is the first thing; the primary fact. It is our arms and legs, our pots and pans, that are indefinable. The indefinable is the indisputable. The man next door is indefinable, because he is too actual to be defined. And there are some to whom spiritual things have the same fierce and practical proximity; some to whom God is too actual to be defined.
But there is a third c] ass of primary terms. There are popular expressions which every one uses and no one can explain; which the wise man will accept and reverence, as he reverences desire or darkness or any elemental thing. The prigs of the debating club will demand that he should define his terms. And, being a wise man, he will flatly refuse. This first inexplicable term is the most important term of all. The word that has no definition is the word that has no substitute. If a man falls back again and again on some such word as «vulgar» or «manly,» do not suppose that the word means nothing because he cannot say what it means. If he could say what the word means he would say what it means instead of saying the word. When the Game Chicken (that fine thinker) kept on saying to Mr. Toots, «It's mean. That's what it is – it's mean,» he was using language in the wisest possible way. For what else could he say? There is no word for mean except mean. A man must be very mean himself before he comes to defining meanness. Precisely because the word is indefinable, the word is indispensable.
In everyday talk, or in any of our journals, we may find the loose but important phrase, «Why have we no great men to-day? Why have we no great men like Thackeray, or Carlyle, or Dickens?» Do not let us dismiss this expression, because it appears loose or arbitrary. «Great» does mean something, and the test of its actuality is to be found by noting how instinctively and decisively we do apply it to some men and not to others; above all, how instinctively and decisively we do apply it to four or five men in the Victorian era, four or five men of whom Dickens was not the least. The term is found to fit a definite thing. Whatever the word «great» means, Dickens was what it means. Even the fastidious and unhappy who cannot read his books without a continuous critical exasperation, would use the word of him without stopping to think. They feel that Dickens is a great writer even if he is not a good writer. He is treated as a classic; that is, as a king who may now be deserted, but who cannot now be dethroned. The atmosphere of this word clings to him; and the curious thing is that we cannot get it to cling to any of the men of our own generation. «Great» is the first adjective which the most supercilious modern critic would apply to Dickens. And «great» is the last adjective that the most supercilious modern critic would apply to himself We dare not claim to be great men, even when we claim to be superior to them.
Is there, then, any vital meaning in this idea of «greatness» or in our laments over its absence in our own time? Some people say, indeed, that this sense of mass is but a mirage of distance, and that men always think dead men great and live men small. They seem to think that the law of perspective in the mental world is the precise opposite to the law of perspective in the physical world. They think that figures grow larger as they walk away. But this theory cannot be made to correspond with the facts. We do not lack great men in our own day because we decline to look for them in our own day; on the contrary, we are looking for them all day long. We are not, as a matter of fact, mere examples of those who stone the prophets and leave it to their posterity to build their sepulchers'. If the world would only produce our perfect prophet, solemn, searching, universal, nothing would give us keener pleasure than to build his sepulcher. In our eagerness we might even bury him alive. Nor is it true that the great men of the Victorian era were not called great in their own time. By many they were called great from the first. Charlotte Brontë held this heroic language about Thackeray. Ruskin held it about Carlyle. A definite school regarded Dickens as a great man from the first days of his fame: Dickens certainly belonged to this school.
In reply to this question, «Why have we no great men to-day?» many modern explanations are offered. Advertisement, cigarette-smoking, the decay of religion, the decay of agriculture, too much humanitarianism, too little humanitarianism, the fact that people are educated insufficiently, the fact that they are educated at all, all these are reasons given. If I give my own explanation, it is not for its intrinsic value; it is because my answer to the question, «Why have we no great men?» is a short way of stating the deepest and most catastrophic difference between the age in which we live and the early nineteenth century; the age under the shadow of the French Revolution, the age in which Dickens was born.
The soundest of the Dickens critics, a man of genius, Mr. George Gissing, opens his criticism by remarking that the world in which Dickens grew up was a hard and cruel world. He notes its gross feeding, its fierce sports, its fighting and foul humour, and all this he summaries in the words hard and cruel. It is curious how different are the impressions of men. To me this old English world seems infinitely less hard and cruel than the world described in Gissing's own novels. Coarse external customs are merely relative, and easily assimilated. A man soon learnt to harden his hands and harden his head. Faced with the world of Gissing, he can do little but harden his heart. But the fundamental difference between the beginning of the nineteenth century and the end of it is a difference simple but enormous. The first period was full of evil things, but it was full of hope. The second period, the fin de siécle
, was even full (in some sense) of good things. But it was occupied in asking what was the good of good things. Joy itself became joyless; and the fighting of Cobbett was happier than the feasting of Walter Pater. The men of Cobbett's day were sturdy enough to endure and inflict brutality; but they were also sturdy enough to alter it. This «hard and cruel» age was, after all, the age of reform. The gibbet stood up black above them; but it was black against the dawn.
This dawn, against which the gibbet and all the old cruelties stood out so black and clear, was the developing idea of liberalism, the French Revolution. It was a clear and a happy philosophy. And only against such philosophies do evils appear evident at all. The optimist is a better reformer than the pessimist; and the man who believes life to be excellent is the man who alters it most. It seems a paradox, yet the reason of it is very plain. The pessimist can be enraged at evil. But only the optimist can be surprised at it. From the reformer is required a simplicity of surprise. He must have the faculty of a violent and virgin astonishment. It is not enough that he should think injustice distressing; he must think injustice absurd
, an anomaly in existence, a matter less for tears than for a shattering laughter. On the other hand, the pessimists at the end of the century could hardly curse even the blackest thing; for they could hardly see it against its black and eternal background. Nothing was bad, because everything was bad. Life in prison was infamous – like life anywhere else. The fires of persecution were vile – like the stars. We perpetually find this paradox of a contented discontent. Dr. Johnson takes too sad a view of humanity, but he is also too satisfied a Conservative. Rousseau takes too rosy a view of humanity, but he causes a revolution. Swift is angry, but a Tory. Shelley is happy, and a rebel. Dickens, the optimist, satirises the Fleet, and the Fleet is gone. Gissing, the pessimist, satirises Suburbia, and Suburbia remains.
Mr. Gissing's error, then, about the early Dickens period we may put thus: in calling it hard and cruel he omits the wind of hope and humanity that was blowing through it. It may have been full of inhuman institutions, but it was full of humanitarian people. And this humanitarianism was very much the better (in my view) because it was a rough and even rowdy humanitarianism. It was free from all the faults that cling to the name. It was, if you will, a coarse humanitarianism. It was a shouting, fighting, drinking philanthropy – a noble thing. But, in any case, this atmosphere was the atmosphere of the Revolution; and its main idea was the idea of human equality. I am not concerned here to defend the egalitarian idea against the solemn and babyish attacks made upon it by the rich and learned of to-day. I am merely concerned to state one of its practical consequences. One of the actual and certain consequences of the idea that all men are equal is immediately to produce very great men. I would say superior men, only that the hero thinks of himself as great, but not as superior. This has been hidden from us of late by a foolish worship of sinister and exceptional men, men without comrade-ship, or any infectious virtue. This type of Cesar does exist. There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.
The spirit of the early century produced great men, because it believed that men were great. It made strong men by encouraging weak men. Its education, its public habits, its rhetoric, were all addressed towards encouraging the greatness in everybody. And by encouraging the greatness in everybody, it naturally encouraged superlative greatness in some. Superiority came out of the high rapture of equality. It is precisely in this sort of passionate unconsciousness and bewildering community of thought that men do become more than themselves. No man by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature; but a man may add many cubits to his stature by not taking thought. The best men of the Revolution were simply common men at their best. This is why our age can never understand Napoleon. Because he was something great and triumphant, we suppose that he must have been something extraordinary, something inhuman. Some say he was the Devil; some say he was the Superman. Was he a very, very bad man? Was he a good man with some greater moral code? We strive in vain to invent the mysteries behind that immortal mask of brass. The modern world with all its subtleness will never guess his strange secret; for his strange secret was that he was very like other people.
And almost without exception all the great men have come out of this atmosphere of equality. Great men may make despotisms; but democracies make great men. The other main factory of heroes besides a revolution is a religion. And a religion again, is a thing which, by its nature, does not think 6£ men as more or less valuable, but of men as all intensely and painfully valuable, a democracy of eternal danger. For religion all men are equal, as all pennies are equal, because the only value in any of them is that they bear the image of the King. This fact has been quite insufficiently observed in the study of religious heroes. Piety produces intellectual greatness precisely because piety in itself is quite indifferent to intellectual greatness. The strength of Cromwell was that he cared for religion. But the strength of religion was that it did not care for Cromwell; did not care for him, that is, any more than for anybody else. He and his footman were equally welcomed to warm places in the hospitality of hell. It has often been said, very truly, that religion is the thing that makes the ordinary man feel extraordinary; it is an equally important truth that religion is the thing that makes the extraordinary man feel ordinary.
Carlyle killed the heroes; there have been none since his time. He killed the heroic (which he sincerely loved) by forcing upon each man this question: «Am I strong or weak?» To which the answer from any honest man whatever (yes, from Caesar or Bismarck) would «weak.» He asked for candidates for a definite aristocracy, for men who should hold themselves consciously above their fellows. He advertised for them, so to speak; he promised them glory; he promised them omnipotence. They have not appeared yet. They never will. For the real heroes of whom he wrote had appeared out of an ecstacy of the ordinary. I have already instanced such a case as Cromwell. But there is no need to go through all the great men of Carlyle. Carlyle himself was as great as any of them; and if ever there was a typical child of the French Revolution, it was he. He began with the wildest hopes from the Reform Bill, and although he soured afterwards, he had been made and mounded by those hopes. He was disappointed with Equality; but Equality was not disappointed with him. Equality is justified of all her children.
But we, in the post-Carlylean period, have be come fastidious about great men. Every man examines himself, every man examines his neighbors, to see whether they or he quite come up to the exact line of greatness. The answer is, naturally, «No.» And many a man calls himself contentedly «a minor poet» who would then have been inspired to be a major prophet. We are hard to please and of little faith. We can hardly believe that there is such a thing as a great man. They could hardly believe there was such a thing as a small one. But we are always praying that our eyes may behold greatness, instead of praying that our hearts may be filled with it. Thus, for instance, the Liberal party (to which I belong) was, in its period of exile, always saying, «For a Gladstone!» and such things. We were always asking that it might be strengthened from above, instead of ourselves strengthening it from below, with our hope and our anger and our youth. Every man was waiting for a leader. Every man ought to be waiting for a chance to lead. If a god does come upon the earth, he will descend at the sight of the brave. Our prostrations and litanies are of no avail; our new moons and our Sabbaths are an abomination. The great man will come when all of us are feeling great, not when all of us are feeling small. He will ride in at some splendid moment when we all feel that we could do without him.
We are then able to answer in some manner the question, «Why have we no great men?» We have no great men chiefly because we are always looking for them. We are connoisseurs of greatness, and connoisseurs can never be great; we are fastidious, that is, we are small. When Diogenes went about with a lantern looking for an honest man, I am afraid he had very little time to be honest himself And when anybody goes about on his hands and knees looking for a great man to worship, he is making sure that one man at any rate shall not be great. Now, the error of Diogenes is evident. The error of Diogenes lay in the fact that he omitted to notice that every man is both an honest man and a dishonest man. Diogenes looked for his honest man inside every crypt and cavern; but he never thought of looking inside the thief And that is where the Founder of Christianity found the honest man; He found him on a gibbet and promised him Paradise. Just as Christianity looked for the honest man inside the thief, democracy looked for the wise man inside the fool. It encouraged the fool to be wise. We can call this thing sometimes optimism, sometimes equality; the nearest name for it is encouragement. It had its exaggerations – failure to understand original sin, notions that education would make all men good, the childlike yet pedantic philosophies of human perfectibility. But the whole was full of a faith in the infinity of human souls, which is in itself not only Christian but orthodox; and this we have lost amid the limitations of a pessimistic science. Christianity said that any man could be a saint if he chose; democracy, that any man could be a citizen if he chose. The note of the last few decades in art and ethics has been that a man is stamped with an irrevocable psychology, and is cramped for perpetuity in the prison of his skull. It was a world that expected everything of everybody. It was a world that encouraged anybody to be anything. And in England and literature its living expression was Dickens.
We shall consider Dickens in many other capacities, but let us put this one first. He was the voice in England of this humane intoxication and expansion, this encouraging of anybody to be anything. His best books are a carnival of liberty, and there is more of the real spirit of the French Revolution in «Nicholas Nickleby» than in «The Tale of Two Cities.» His work has the great glory of the Revolution, the bidding of every man to be himself; it has also the revolutionary deficiency: it seems to think that this mere emancipation is enough. No man encouraged
his characters so much as Dickens. «I am an affectionate father,» he says, «to every child of my fancy.» He was not only an affectionate father, he was an over-indulgent father. The children of his fancy are spoilt children. They shake the house like heavy and shouting schoolboys; they smash the story to pieces like so much furniture. When we moderns write stories our characters are better controlled. But, alas! our characters are rather easier to control. We are in no danger from the gigantic gambols of creatures like Mantalini and Micawber. We are in no danger of giving our readers too much Weller or Wegg. We have not got it to give. When we experience the ungovernable sense of life which goes along with the old Dickens sense of liberty, we experience the best of the revolution. We are filled with the first of all democratic doctrines, that all men are interesting; Dickens tried to make some of his people appear dull people, but he could not keep them dull. He could not make a monotonous man. The bores in his books are brighter than the wits in other books.
I have put this position first for a defined reason. It is useless for us to attempt to imagine Dickens and his life unless we are able at least to imagine this old atmosphere of a democratic optimism – a confidence in common men. Dickens depends upon such a comprehension in a rather unusual manner, a manner worth explanation, or at least remark.
The disadvantage under which Dickens has fallen, both as an artist and a moralist, is very plain. His misfortune is that neither of the two last movements in literary criticism has done him any good. He has suffered alike from his enemies, and from the enemies of his enemies. The facts to which I refer are familiar. When the world first awoke from the mere hypnotism of Dickens, from the direct tyranny of his temperament, there was, of course, a reaction. At the head of it came the Realists, with their documents, like Miss Flite. They declared that scenes and types in Dickens were wholly impossible (in which they were perfectly right), and on this rather paradoxical ground objected to them as literature. They were not «like life,» and there, they thought, was an end of the matter. The realist for a time prevailed. But Realists did not enjoy their victory (if they enjoyed anything) very long. A more symbolic school of criticism soon arose. Men saw that it was necessary to give a much deeper and more delicate meaning to the expression «like life.» Streets are not life, cities and civilizations are not life, faces even and voices are not life itself Life is within, and no man hath seen it at any time. As for our meals, and our manners, and our daily dress, these are things exactly like sonnets; they are random symbols of the soul. One man tries to express himself in books, another in boots; both probably fail. Our solid houses and square meals are in the strict sense fiction. They are things made up to typify our thoughts. The coat a man wears may be wholly fictitious; the movement of his hands may be quite unlike life.
This much the intelligence of men soon perceived. And by this much Dickens's fame should have greatly profited. For Dickens is «like life» in the truer sense, in the sense that he is akin to the living principle in us and in the universe; he is like life, at least in this detail, that he is alive. His art is like life, because, like life, it cares for nothing outside itself, and goes on its way rejoicing. Both produce monsters with a kind of carelessness, like enormous by-products; life producing the rhinoceros, and art Mr. Bunsby. Art indeed copies life in not copying life, for life copies nothing. Dickens's art is like life because, like life, it is irresponsible, because, like life, it is incredible.
Yet the return of this realization has not greatly profited Dickens, the return of romance has been almost useless to this great romantic. He has gained as little from the fall of the realists as from their triumph; there has been a revolution, there has been a counter revolution, there has been no restoration. And the reason of this brings us back to that atmosphere of popular optimism of which I spoke. And the shortest way of expressing the more recent neglect of Dickens is to say that for our time and taste he exaggerates the wrong thing.
Exaggeration is the definition of art. That both Dickens and the Moderns understood. Art is, in its inmost nature, fantastic. Time brings queer revenges, and while the realists were yet living, the art of Dickens was justified by Aubrey Beardsley. But men like Aubrey Beardsley were allowed to be fantastic, because the mood which they overstrained and overstated was a mood which their period understood. Dickens overstrains and overstates a mood our period does not understand. The truth he exaggerates is exactly this old Revolution sense of infinite opportunity and boisterous brotherhood. And we resent his undue sense of it, because we ourselves have not even a due sense of it. We feel troubled with too much where we have too little; we wish he would keep it within bounds. For we are all exact and scientific on the subjects we do not care about. We all immediately detect exaggeration in an exposition of Mormonism or a patriotic speech from Paraguay. We all require sobriety on the subject of the sea-serpent. But the moment we begin to believe a thing ourselves, that moment we begin easily to overstate it; and the moment our souls become serious, our words become a little wild. And certain moderns are thus placed towards exaggeration. They permit any writer to emphasize doubts for instance, for doubts are their religion, but they permit no man to emphasis dogmas. If a man be the mildest Christian, they smell «cant» but he can be a raving windmill of pessimism, «and they call it 'temperament.» If a moralist paints a wild picture of immorality, they doubt its truth, they say that devils are not so black as they are painted. But if a pessimist paints a wild picture of melancholy, they accept the whole horrible psychology, and they never ask if devils are as blue as they are painted.
It is evident, in short, why even those who admire exaggeration do not admire Dickens. He is exaggerating the wrong thing. They know what it is to feel a sadness so strange and deep that only impossible characters can express it: they do not know what it is to feel a joy so vital and violent that only impossible characters can express that. They know that the soul can be so sad as to dream naturally of the blue faces of the corpses of Baudelaire: they do not know that the soul can be so cheerful as to dream naturally of the blue face of Major Bagstock. They know that there is a point of depression at which one believes in Tintagiles: they do not know that there is a point of exhilaration at which one believes in Mr. Wegg. To them the impossibilities of Dickens seem much more impossible than they really are, because they are already attuned to the opposite impossibilities of Maeterlinck. For every mood there is an appropriate impossibility – a decent and tactful impossibility – fitted to the frame of mind. Every train of thought may end in an ecstasy, and all roads lead to Elfland. But few now walk far enough along the street of Dickens to find the place where the cockney villas grow so comic that they become poetical. People do not know how far mere good spirits will go. For instance, we never think (as the old folk-lore did) of good spirits reaching to the spiritual world. We see this in the complete absence from modern, popular supernaturalism of the old popular mirth. We hear plenty to-day of the wisdom of the spiritual world; but we do not hear, as our fathers did, of the folly of the spiritual world, of the tricks of the gods, and the jokes of the patron saints. Our popular tales tell us of a man who is so wise that he touches the supernatural, like Dr. Nikola; but they never tell us (like the popular tales of the past) of a man who was so silly that he touched the supernatural, like Bottom the Weaver. We do not understand the dark and transcendental sympathy between fairies and fools. We understand a devout occultism, an evil occultism, a tragic occultism, but a farcical occultism is beyond us. Yet a farcical occultism is the very essence of «The Midsummer Night's Dream.» It is also the right and credible essence of «The Christmas Carol.» Whether we understand it depends upon whether we can understand that exhilaration is not a physical accident, but a mystical fact; that exhilaration can be infinite, like sorrow; that a joke can be so big that it breaks the roof of the stars. By simply going on being absurd, a thing can become godlike; there is but one step from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Dickens was great because he was immoderately possessed with all this; if we are to understand him at all we must also be moderately possessed with it. We must understand this old limitless hilarity and human confidence, at least enough to be able to endure it when it is pushed a great deal too far. For Dickens did push it too far; he did push the hilarity to the point of incredible character-drawing; he did push the human confidence to the point of an unconvincing sentimentalism. You can trace, if you will, the revolutionary joy till it reaches the incredible Sapsea epitaph; you can trace the revolutionary hope till it reaches the repentance of Dombey. There is plenty to carp at in this man if you are inclined to carp; you may easily find him vulgar if you cannot see that he is divine; and if you cannot laugh with Dickens, undoubtedly you can laugh at him.
I believe myself that this braver world of his will certainly return; for I believe that it is bound up with the realities, like morning and the spring. But for those who beyond remedy regard it as and error, I put this appeal before any other observations on Dickens. First let us sympathies, if only for an instant, with the hopes of the Dickens period, with that cheerful trouble of change. If democracy has disappointed you, do not think of it as a burst bubble, but at least as a broken heart, an old love-affair. Do not sneer at the time when the creed of humanity was on its honeymoon; treat it with the dreadful reverence that is due to youth. For you, perhaps, a drearier philosophy has covered and eclipsed the earth. The fierce poet of the Middle Ages wrote, «Abandon hope, all ye who enter here,» over the gates of the lower world. The emancipated poets of to-day have written it over the gates of this world. But if we are to understand the story which follows, we must erase that apocalyptic writing, if only for an hour. We must recreate the faith of our fathers, if only as an artistic atmosphere If, then, you are a pessimist, in reading this story, forego for a little the pleasures of pessimism. Dream for one mad moment that the grass is green. Unlearn that sinister learning that you think so clear; deny that deadly knowledge that you think you know. Surrender the very flower of your culture; give up the very jewel of your pride; abandon hopelessness, all ye who enter here.
Repetitions Used by Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens was born at Land port, in Port Sea on February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay-office, and was temporarily on duty in the neigh boarhound. Very soon after the birth of Charles Dickens, however, the family moved for a short period to Norfolk Street, Bloomsbury, and then fur along period to Chatham, which thus became the real home, and for all serious purposed the native place of Dickens. The whole story of his life moves like a Canterbury pilgrimage along the great roads of Kent.
But if they had not been lifted in the air by the enormous accident of a man of genius, the Dickens’s, I fancy, would have appeared in poorer and poorer places, as inventory clacks, as caretakers, as addressers of envelopes, until they melted into the masses of the poor.
All expressive stylistic means of the language are used by the author in order to reveal the content of the text better.
In a good fiction we usually have the of the unity of the expressive means and what is expressed otherwise the artistic creativity cart exist.
In this selection we see the worldview of the writer of course. Mind is an endless source in underlining ideas, concepts so is the language endless in its opportunities of expressing words which serve the writer’s aims. «All the words are in the lexicon-dictionary of the nation but it doesn’t mean that they are simply repeated minute-after-minute», noted once the great Russian writer A.S. Pushkin [1. Ïóøêèí.À.Ñ. Ïîëíîå ñîáðàíèÿ ñî÷èíåíèé. 1949, òîì12, ñòð. 100]
Many authors use a number of stylistic devices very often and writhingly but in some cases they use some of them especially often-gladly. In such cases we say that the writer likes the stylistic device better than other ones.
So, in our case, Charles Dickens uses many times repetitions. The essence of it is the usage of repetition in language unites two more times. Peculiar features of repetition is that it has many functions and the writer uses them in combinations with other words frequently. Repetitions serve for Charles Dickens to open new possibilities in telling his artistic ideas and thoughts more clearly and poetically, emotionally, to escape from dry language. The roots of repetitions goes far deeply into oral folk poetry: the works of folklore were meant to improve its people and to help people to remember the material easily: they were passed from generation to generation without changing the content of the poem. Repetitions helped people to keep in their memory the content and the form to remember better, the role of repetitions was great. Theoretical basis of repetitions existed already in antique rhetorical works. Working out the theory of repetitions antique stylists meant the apply of the revisions in oral speech. As the beginning and the end of the clauses or periods had more effect on the listeners special interest was paid to the place of repetitions. From there we have the classification of repetitions, on the bases of which there lie the structural order of the repetition in the periods.
Of course, not all the enumerated by the rhetoric’s structural types could be found in Charles Dickens’s books.
Anaphora – the repetition of one and the same lexical unite at the beginning of the sentence or lexical unite at the beginning of the sentence or clause is used in different exceedingly many-sided variety. Well the court be clime with wasting candles here and there the fog hang heavy in it, as if it would never get out, well may the stained glass windows lose their color and admit un light of day into the, well may the unstated.
Repetitions helped to keep in their memory the content and the form to remember better, the role of petitions was great. Theoretical basis of repetitions existed already in antique rhetorical works. Working out the theory of repetitions antique stylists meant the apply of the revisions in oral speech. As the beginning and the end of the clauses or periods, had more effect on the listeners special interest was paid to the place of repetitions. From there we have the classification of repetitions, on the bases of which there lie the structural order of the repetition in the periods.
Of course, not all the enumerated by the rhetoric structural types could be found in Charles Dickens’s books.
Anaphora – the repetition of one and the same lexical unite at the beginning of the sentence or clause is used in different exultingly many snidely.
Well man the court be dim, with wasting candles here and there, well may the fag hang heavy in it, as if it would never get out; well may the stained glass windows lose their color and admit no light of day into the place; well may the uninitiated from the streets be detached from the entrance by its owlish aspect.
Here the repeated word combination is characterized by its comparatively little semantic and role of repetition is to unite, to fasten together separate parts of the thought. Such uniting function other is failed by anaphoric repetition, especially when auxiliary words are used as the repeated unites.
In a number of cases the repeated word is semantically more substantial, its role is not only in the function of uniting its meaning also plays certain role, but it is not the main or decisive for the important of the whole statement. In majority of cases it is an introductory word or a part of a couples sentence; repeated, they create certain background for the whole statement.
Supposing his head had been under water for a while. Supposing the first blow had been truer. Supposing he had been shot. Supposing he had been strangled. Supposing this way, that way, the other way. Supposing anything but getting unchained from the one idea for that was inexorable impossible.
Supposing is not sense backbone of the statement, but the word plays certain role in creating the background of the statement, in expressing the emotional state of he image, of the character.
«I shouldn’t care so much if it wasn’t so ridiculous. I was ridiculous enough to have a stranger coming over to marry me, whether he liked or not. It was ridiculous enough to know what an embarrassing meeting it would be… It was ridiculous enough to know I shouldn’t like him» (Our Mutual Friend. P 55).
Here we must note some semantic shifts which take place in those frequent statements which follow after the repeated unites but they themselves are not repeated.
The center of sense heaviness of the extract falls on the notion, picked out by anaphoric repetition, both the force and the dependence of the following words become more lessened, they would turn into concepts, which are adopted not independently from the specific nature, as in some of equal value, synonymical.
Usually in the research works on stylistics anaphora as a repetition, in which the beginning of the extract excerpt is subjected to increase. As the above sited examples show anaphora does not always pick out semantically important part of the statement. The same can be said about epithermal the repetition of the ends or their parts.
By the way however the less the tie-link between the repeated unit with the general content of sentence, the lesser lexical weight will it have, the less then we can speak about the increasing of the taken part of the statement by means of repetition for example:
– Dear me- I quite forgot, – replied the other. What will you take Sir? Will you take part wine, Sir? A cherry wine, sir? I can recommend the ales.
The repeated sir turned into the form of politeness, it influences only on the stylistic coloring of the statement, giving it the shade of politeness. But more often, there are cases, when epithermal underlines the thought, important for the content of the excerpt.
Ring= round repetition influences rather sufficiently on the semantics of the repeated word combinations appearing for the second time, completing the paragraph, it turns out to be more full semantically than in the beginning of the paragraph, as in the circling framed set off ring of the extract there are descriptions of many phenomena, characteristic traits or situation, more fully discovering the content of the repeated unites.
Yet more was a miss with him than Miss Peecher’ simply arranged little workbox of thoughts could hold. For, the state of man was murderous. The state of the man was murderous, and he knew it.
In very significant quantity of cases changes Dickens uses meeting point in the statements of the hero, which was interrupted in his speech its author’s commentary: «Still wasting the precious hours» – said the monk at length, turning to the elder sister as he spoke. «Still wasting the precious hours on this vain trifling.» (Nicholas Nickleby, I. 81)
In such cases repetition formally keeps the signs of the point repeated unites are situated at the end of one sentence and the beginning of another one, but the nature of the repetition changes, there is no the end of one and the beginning of the other thought, as such sentences we have at meeting point in it one section of one and the same thought is repeated, gaining formal signs of a meeting point. That is the reason we can name such phenomenon as false meeting point. Often Charles Dickens places his remark after one word, pronounced by the acting person in the very beginning of this remark. The meaning of this repetition is not clear, as it is spoken as cut off pram context and it is explained interpreted only in the second half of the to be at hand «Unless», interposed the man with the campstool» unless Mr. Winkle feels himself aggrieved by the challenge»
Especially should we analyze one of the types kinds of catch up, which is used by Dickens glad. This kind of repetition is met at the end of the first sentence, is repeated at the beginning of the second one, at the end of the second and at the beginning of the third one, at the end of the third at the beginning of the fourth and (further). We shall have uninterrupted chain of catch was, as if they are wounded one on the other, forming chain repetition for example:
«To think better of it» returned the gallant Blando is, would be to slight a lady, to slight a lady would be to deficient in chivalry towards the sex, and chivalry towards the sex is a part of my character».
Chain repetition does not premed more fully discovery of the meaning of the repeated word or word combination. Fastenings, formed by repetition at the end of one sentence at the beginning of the following sentence cement the unity of the statement, as a rule give the sequence of thoughts or actions, which follow each other immediately. Sometimes Dickens intertwines the chain of catch ups in the system, which looks like similar chain repetitions, but with more complex pictures; «He Saw» the portrait of Lady Dedlock over the mantel shelf, in which she is represented on a terrace with a pedestal upon the terrace, and a vase, upon the pedestal and her shawl upon the vase, and a prodigious piece of fur upon the shawl, and her arm on the prodigious piece of fur, and a bracelet on her arm.
Here the fastening are stretched out seizing between their repeated ends the whole sentence, the beginning of which enters a new word or a word combination, which is repeated through one sentence at the end of the following sentence, seizing in its turn, when repeated another part with the newly introduced repeated unites.
Chain repetition is one of the types of repetitions a significant part of whole are kept in the works of folklore. Sometimes Dickens especially indicates points to a definite concrete
2.2 Stylistic Devices used in «Nicholas Nickleby»
This book is best, out of all the Dickens books. If you should just read one of Dicken's, it should be this one. This captures all of the suspense that he creates in any of his books. I reccomend this boook to anyone who is looking for a long and satisfying read.
Money versus virture, poverty set against wealth, hero against the ills of society, plus the combined forces of the duty to family and bond between sister and brother. Any Dickens novel will bring you the perfection of character, the ordinary individual through thought and deed becomes the extraordinary.
Throw in a sarcasm still alive today, mainly through the use of superlatives which over emphasize the importance of «Lord somebody» and deftly turn these titled aristocrats from dieties of fortune into over inflated balloons. Dickens, in a time of Victorian sensibility, turned to an arsenal of adjectives for dealing with the long engrained antediluvian British nobility. Exquisite descriptions allowing the reader to visit each character as if you were in the literal sense, sitting in their living rooms observing their lives right down to the tea kettle whistle.
All Dickens novels are loaded with the stuff of glory, but never too far fetched that he can't drive home the plight of the impoverished, the cycles of poverty and the deep suffering he witnesses daily in the streets of London. What better way to emphasize injustice than to contrast sick and orphaned children with rich old misers?
Comparing his observations on injustice, you will find it relevant today, in a different guise perhaps, from Lord Somebody and his buffoons in parliament to our corporate welfare state and over saturated market economy.
How does one survive a world as cruel as one directed by a corrupt guardian uncle in the money lending business? Only Nicholas Nickelby can answer that. With nothing but youth on his side and a good upbringing in the country, Nicholas learns his values will need to be tested at the risk of his own safety and reputation. As he defends his character and the honor of his family, not to mention saving a few lives of those much worse off than he, he gains enough good karma to last several lifetimes as he follows his heart to the wealth that awaits him like a holy grail. Like any hero, he sets off a chain reaction of good luck for his family and aquaintances, until the book exhausts itself in becoming one riotous, joyous celebration of life. As one last task, Nicholas with all his honor, attracts the only one thing he is missing, an equally flawless damsel to be rescued from a cruel, self centered father.
Unlike his later works, this one is brimming with sweet hyperbolic idealism and exageration, like youthful optimism, it does not carry the same intimate character intropsection he develops later.
It is worth it to settle into this novel to witness the sharp black and white juxtapose of the good character versus corrupt.
Whereas Dickens balanced this with gray areas between rich and poor in other novels, this work is direct, simple and explicit in it's quest for moral ground. Wealth matches wealth of spirit and Dickens can make it infectious with his keen observations of human behavior and his absolute dedication to matching his words to his heart.
Fresh from his success on «Oliver Twist» as a political satirist of note, Dickens turns his sights toward the abuse of Yorkshire schools – a national disgrace – in which children were effectively abandoned for a fee. Neglect, physical abuse, malnourishment, cold, and ill health were endemic. This political attack becomes the setting for an expansive tale of the Nickleby family and their ongoing struggle against the evil of their uncle Ralph. The usual collection of sub-plots, comedy and Dickensian characters rounds out a lengthy but fulfilling read that nobody will be sorry they started.
2.2.1 Other StylisticFeatures Used by Charles Dickens in «Oliver Twist»
Dickens s novels first appeared in monthly installments, including «
Oliver Twist» (1837–1839), which depicts the London underworld and hard years of the foundling Oliver Twist.
Charles Dickens is considered to be one of the greatest English novelists of the period. Dickens works are characterized by alters on social evils, injustice and hypocrisy.
In the thirties of the XIX century English capitalism entered a new stase of development. England become a classical capitalist country. At the some time England was experiencing on, acclamation of contradiction both at home and abroad. In India and Ireland national-liberation monuments were developing while the metropolis itself witnessed powerful upsurge of labor movement known as chartist. The period of this tense stresses was attended by the appearance of a new literary current-critical realism. The critical realism of the 19th centre flourished in the 1840s and in the beginnings of the1850s. One of the greatest writers of this period was Charles Dickens a brilliant novelist who revealed truths of his time «Hard Time» he called this time.
Oliver Twist is one of the best works of Charles Dickens, Belinsky V.G a well-known Russian critic wrote. The merit of the novel is in its truth to reality, sometimes arousing indignation, always full of every and humor, its fault is in the ending which is in the mourner of the sentimental hovels of the past centre…
All the of «Oliver Twist», of the good cranks and villains in particular, and delaine sharply and ritually».
The novel was written in 1837–38. It tells the story of an orphan boy of unknown parentage. Born in a workhouse, brought up under cruel conditions, the hero runs away from the workhouse to London, were he falls into the hands of a song of thieves. He is resented from them by the benevolent rich Mr. Brownlow, but the thieves make him join the once again and partake in their foul dealings. The novel ends with Oliver Twist being adapted by Mr. Brownlow. The adventures of the boy-hero were used by Dickens to describe the lower depth of London. He makes his readers awes at the in humanity of city life under the conditions of capitalism. The main hero of the novel is a kind boy but he is thrown into the awful conditions under which the children of the poor were brush-up. The novel exposes he cruelth of the bourgois philathopists.
1. Topicality of the theme
Charles Dickens life was very hard. His childhood was an unhappy period. His childhood passed in stresses for surviving in difficult conations of the XIX century England. His novel «Little Darrit» is about miserable life of his parents.
One of the creators of characters in all the world s literature is the British novelist Charles Dickens. His novel «David Copperfield» describes one of D… tourist character named Uriah Heep. The story is harried by its win hero, David Copperfield a young boy. He has arrived at Mr. Wickfield s, were he is to board while altitudes school. Mr. Wickfield has allowed practice. The story is set in the mid-nineteenth century, Charles Dickens stile is very unique and original. He uses in some time he uses short sentences, especially when he wants deemphasize something important. It is repetition are also interesting and we have them almost in all his book. «Oliver Twist» can give us some imagination about its author s style. Here we have many examples of using polysemantic words. One of such wage we come across in chapter II. Oliver had not been within the walls of the workhouse a quarter of an hour, and had scarily completed the devolution of second slice of bread, when Mr. Bambel, who had handed him over to the core of an old woman, returned, and telling him it was board had said hi was to happen before it forth word.
In this sentence one should pay attention to his to the words «workhouse» and «board». The first is public institution for reception of paupers in a parish or group of parishes. The inhabitants of workhouses were selected to most brutal exploitation. In «Oliwer Twist» Dickens gives a realistic picture of the horrible existence in workhouse.
The word board has many meanings the meaning is
Oliver Twist» is an excellent, fascinating and compelling novel which I had the pleasure of reading. This book is exceptionally well narrated which distinguishes Dickens as one of the greatest English story writers. The issues he raised are timeless particularly societal issues pertaining to dealing with poverty, class differences, child labour, orphans and the disadvantaged in society. He highlights the need to care for others and not to be selfish. Dickens did a good job of enlightening the middle class in Britain of the hardships that the poor had to endure during his time.
Oliver Twist is a very young, innocent orphan who lost his mother at birth. He is thrust into the cruel and unforgiving world. I was moved by the numerous hardships and challenges that he had to endure at such a tender age, including being shot at. He was moved away from the workhouse when he innocently asks for some more food, taken to as an apprentice undertaker and after some trouble runs away only to get into a group of thieves and robbers.
Dickens paints a grim, dark and horrifying picture of life of the poor in Victorian England. The author produced some memorable characters like Fagin the miser and the gang of thieves that included The Artful Dodger, Mr Bumble at the workhouse, Nancy the kind hearted whore with motherly instincts, Mr Grimwig who is always threatening to eat his head and those of others, Sikes the murderer and others.
Thankfully the book has a happy ending for Oliver. However, Nancy touched my heart and I felt that she should not have met such a grisly demise. Some unfortunate anti-Semitic references taint an otherwise exceptional novel.
This is excellent reading for those who like a well written story with exciting twists and turns.
I have read a number of Dickens books and can certainly call myself a big fan of his work. Considering the overwhelming popularity of «Oliver Twist,» it's a bit surprising that it took a graduate class to present the first opportunity for my getting to read it. While the book is good, it is not without its problems. I found the character of Oliver to be a little flat and a whole lot of unbelievable. Furthermore, Dickens played around with a lot of themes dealing with knots and mazes which was mildly tiresome.
And while I got a couple of big belly laughs out of Bumble's character, I was really peeved with Nancy's outcome. For those who have not read it, I am being cryptic for a reason.
All in all it is a clever little book, though it is clear it is one of his first. However, when you compare this one to the likes of «David Copperfield» and «Dombey and Son,» it leaves a bit to be desired.
For those who have never read Dickens and are afraid to pick up one of his many novels that are half a foot thick, start with «A Christmas Carol» or «Great
Expectations»….and then give «Twist» a whirl.
Oliver Twist was Dickens's first serious novel, after the comic Pickwick Papers. It is trash but his potential shows through.
The Penguin Classics version seen here gives us the book as it was originally serialized in magazines, and it is filthily anti-semitic, as is The Merchant Of Venice by Shakespeare and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, two other filthily anti-semitic British pieces of work. We have an established tradition here of Jew hatred in jolly old England.
The characters in Oliver Twist are caricatures given to us as pure good or pure evil. I don't know which are worse. Rose Maylie is so sickeningly sweet and good as to be worse than the bad uns. So is Oliver Twist for that matter. Reading about either of them is like eating french toast with gobs of maple syrup but leaving out the french toast. Just spoon that maple syrup into your mouth straight.
Beauty and goodness are equivalent to each other. Rose Maylie is so pretty, pretty as a picture, pretty as two pictures, and so is our pansy goody two shoes Oliver Twist. Perfection is too weak a word for them.
Meanwhile, the Jew is a despicably ugly character, both physically and morally. And when Oliver wakes up and looks out a window he spies the Jew, and he wakes up screaming The Jew! The Jew!
This edition of Dickens's viciously anti-semitic work identifies its primary villain as The Jew perhaps 300 times. It's The Jew this, The Jew that. If someone tried to get this garbage published today, the only publishing house that would take it would be from Aryan Nation.
The problem with completely slamming this trash is that even though the characters are one dimensional, either goody goody good or bad uns, and even though it is a sledgehammer of constant Jew hatred, you still have a fledgling Dickens, a neophyte Dickens, which is like having a rookie Reggie Jackson on your team. He is going to hit some homers and win some World Series games. He has awesome talent and it does show.
There is a confirmed tendency to hero-worship the famous. Dickens or Shakespeare could have written any old garbage, and often did, and still most people would praise it to the skies because they really aren't looking past the name.
Do you have the independence and the true taste to really tell the wheat from the chaff? Very few people do. And Reggie Jackson struck out an awful lot, and had a big mouth which his foot fit easily into, and was never accused of being a nice guy.
This early version of Oliver Twist reeks. Get the musical instead. Or look for a later version, one that doesn't scream about The Jew ten times a page.
The introduction tells us that Dickens had Jewish friends who told him that this book was anti-semitic, and Dickens answered basically «yes, but most Fagin type criminals ARE Jews». Even so, he deleted some of his references to The Jew and added a nice Jew as a minor character in one of his later books. Big deal. That doesn't balance Fagin. Oh, I've ripped out your liver? Here, have a twinkie.
NOTES ON «OLIVER TWIST»
As Angus Wilson says,
… the somber tone of Oliver Twist
, coming after Pickwick Papers
, was a surprise, though no disappointment, to contemporary readers… With Oliver Twist
Dickens the master of grand social vision, and Dickens the journalist, come to the front of the stage, while Dickens the comedian of Pickwick Papers retires into comparative shadow.
It is as if Dickens were eager to demonstrate his own versatility and to avoid beign typecast as the author of a particular kind of fiction: in the context of the 1830s it is hard to think of a more abrupt change…
Dickens drew on various literary and dramatic models in his second novel. The Gothic novel may well have contributed 'a certain supernatural element implied in the diabolic character of Fagin, and in the mysterious absence of his footprints after he has peered in upon Oliver in his country retreat, and in the whole phantom character of Monks'. The eighteenth-century picaresque novel may have suggested 'the disputed – inheritance – cum – illegitimate – son plot' (cf. Tom Jones and Humphery Clinker). Popular melodrama of the kind that Dickens enjoyed in the London theaters made its contribution, notably to the stylized and implausible dialogue at certain points. Most obvious of all to Dickens' first readers would have been the influence of the so-called 'Newgate novel', which flourished in the 1830s; to this category belong such once-popular works as Bulwer-Lytton's Paul Clifford (1830) and Eugene Aram (1832), and Harrison Ainsworth's Rookwood (1834). Such novels glamorized the criminal classes (the heroes of the first and third are highwaymen). At the end of the decade Thackeray satirized this school of fiction in his Catherine
(serialized in 1839–40), narrated by 'Ikey Solomon, junior' (Ikely Solomon had been the prototype for Fagin); and in Frazer's Magazine
(August 1840), describing the crowd at a public execution, he contrasted the real-life Nancys with those depicted in Dickens:
I was curious to look at them, having, in late fashionable novels, read many accounts of such personages. Bah! what figments these novelist tell us! Boz, who knows life well, knows that his Miss Nancy is the most unreal fantastical personage possible;… He dare not tell the truth concerning such young ladies.
Most obviously, there is the satire on the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 and its effects. Peter Fairclough notes that the opening chapters of the novel appeared when a campaign by The Times attacking the Act was at its height. As Fairclough says,
The chief object of the new Act was to stop the benevolent Allowance System–a development of the granting of wholesale outdoor relief by many humane J.P.'s, whereby labourers' wages were supplemented to subsistence level by contributions to the Poor Rate–by abolishing out-relief to the able-bodied [see Note, Poor Laws].
Oliver is born into the pre‑1834 system, and sent to one of the baby farms which were a feature of the early nineteenth-century provision for pauper orphans. But by the time he is nine years old (Ch. 2) the new Act is in effect and his fate is settled by one of the elected Boards of Guardians that had been newly established. Humphry House has commented that Bumble's still being beadle after the introduction of the new Act was perfectly possible: 'all the details did not change at a stroke, and the early reports of the Commissioners are full of complaints of unsuitable officers taken over from the old system.
Dickens was to continue his attack on the inhumanity of the workhouse system: almost thirty years later, in his last completed novel, Our Mutual Friend, it is still a target. But it is not the only topical aspect of this early novel; indeed, according to House, 'A novel could hardly have been more topical than Oliver Twist, ' Saffron Hill, where much of the action takes place, was notorious in the period as a haunt of thieves, prostitutes and fences, and in making it the base of Fagin's activities 'Dickens was… using a contemporary topical allusion with which a great number of his readers would have been quite familiar beforehand' (House). The brief reference to Oliver's narrow escape at being apprenticed to a chimney-sweep alludes to the plight of the climbing boys, another contemporary scandal.
Oliver is a sort of male Cinderella or princess disguised as a goose girl; and his innate gentility (manifested, for example, in his speech–a product of his birth rather than his environment) is flagrantly non-realistic. Similarly, there is a problem arising from the conflict between the impulse of Dickens's part to satirize with righteous indignation and the impulse to turn anything and everything to comedy. Bumble is not, a priori, a figure of fun but the corrupt representative of an evil system. In the novel, however, he is a comedian, and some of the scenes in which he appears (for example, his courtship of Mrs. Carney) have little or nothing to do with the attack on the poor law. This is an aspect of Dickens' art not confined to this novel (compare, for instance, the treatment of Mrs. Gump in Martin Chuzzlewit, where the exposure of her incompetence as a nurse is almost lost sight of in the rich eccentricities of her monologues)….
Evil is rendered with much more conviction than good. Beside Fagin, the benevolent Mr Brownlow is insubstantial; even Nancy, though her activities as prostitute are scarcely touched on (Dickens never uses the word in the novel) and her sexuality is played down, is a human(i) portrait in a way that the virtuous Rose Maylie is not. Between these groups, as Wilson says, move 'the passive figure of Oliver himself and the mechanical figure of his sinister half-brother Monks.
2.2.2 Stylistic Features used by Charles Dickens in «Hard Times»
Beginning in 1854 up through to his death in 1870, Charles Dickens abridged and adapted many of his more popular works and performed them as staged readings. This version, each page illustrated with lovely watercolor paintings, is a beautiful example of one of these adaptations.
Because it is quite seriously abridged, the story concentrates primarily on the extended family of Mr. Peggotty: his orphaned nephew, Ham; his adopted niece, Little Emily; and Mrs. Gummidge, self-described as «a lone lorn creetur and everythink went contrairy with her.» When Little Emily runs away with Copperfield's former schoolmate, leaving Mr. Peggotty completely brokenhearted, the whole family is thrown into turmoil. But Dickens weaves some comic relief throughout the story with the introduction of Mr. and Mrs. Micawber, and David's love for his pretty, silly «child-wife,» Dora. Dark nights, mysterious locations, and the final destructive storm provide classic Dickensian drama. Although this is notDavid Copperfield
in its entirety, it is a great introduction to the world and the language of Charles Dickens
Writing a review of Dickens is very daunting. What can you say that's new? The greatest minds and writers of each generation are compelled to offer their opinions of his writings. Well, I feel compelled as well, simply because his writing has moved me so much.
I have come to Dickens late in life, right on the cusp of 50 years of age. When younger, I feared him to be cloying and contrived and it never took more than a page or two to confirm these fears. Besides, for English speaking readers, «Charles Dickens» is such a household word, his works so well known, it's almost as if he comes pre-read.
In a happy circumstance, I recently picked up a copy of «Great Expectations» on a whim, which has been in my girlfriend's bookshelf forever (isn't a copy of some Dickens' novel always close at hand?). A raced through Great Expectations and moved quickly to this novel, David Copperfield.
I won't re-hash too much what millions have felt and said about Dickens, except to say that it was a real thrill to feel that rush of excitement again about a writer – that tremendous feeling that makes you want to tell everyone you know about your discovery. I can't ever remember feeling this much concern for a group of characters before in any novel. In David Copperfield, Dickens created a character driven page-turner of over 1000 pages.
No writer before or since has been able to create an emotional bond between book and reader the way Charles Dickens could. One of the great pleasures of the book is the depiction of Uriah Heep, a villain that ranks up there with the demons of Milton or the murdering kings of Shakespeare. His power of others is astonishing and very creepy. The book is full of great characters, though, and for me one of the most memorable was James Steerforth: one of life's charming, natural winners. Dickens insight into this character is phenomenal, subtle, and somehow haunting. Steerforth is one of those characters that will forever seem «modern» and knowable.
For pure descriptive writing, a reader could search the classics of literature forever and not find anything to best «the storm scene» near the end of the book. Nothing I could say will come close to the feeling of reading these particular pages. I don't know anyone that has read this book without commenting on its power.
There must be other readers out there like me, thinking Dickens one of those classic writers from another age; worth knowing about but not worth reading. For those readers considering David Copperfield, I envy you. You are about to make one of those exciting discoveries that make life worth living. – Mykal Banta
I am a big reader, but in general, I'm a big reader of short novels. I just don't handle the large ones too well, and that's why I've been slow to get to David Copperfield. I've read a lot of Dickens's other stuff, and I've loved it all. I count Hard Times and A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol and a couple of others among my favorites. I was never able to make myself read David Copperfield though.
Until the last several weeks. I decided that it would be good for me to get through the whole thing, and I must say that it was a rewarding experience.
I particularly enjoyed the comedy of the novel. It has some of Dickens's most humorous moments and characters. Mr. and Mrs. Micawber are the sort of characters you know even before reading the novel, and the novel really starts going once they appear. Mr. […] and David's aunt provide nice moments, too.
And, of course, there's that Dickensian melodrama that we all love. That's probably why this book has been so popular through the years. David is a likeable character (particularly when he grows up), and his life definitely has its traumas and its highs. David's appealing, and it's pretty easy to become emotionally attached to the fellow as he makes mistakes and experiences triumphs and dark times. That's one thing about a thousand page novel; you get a little of everything.
There's plenty of interesting social commentary, particularly on the role of women. Dickens's philosophy on love it pretty evident, too, in the later stages of the novel, and that's pretty interesting.
So, it's a good book for all those who like the big novel, and for all those who like Dickens, it's, of course, a cannot miss. It's long but worth it.
I have always liked Dickens – I used to say that A Tale of Two Cities was my favorite – but this work is truly extraordinary. Like all of Dickens' novels, this one contains an amazing number of complex and colorful characters. The novel is in the first person, with the voice looking back as an older man at the entirety of his life. What struck me most about the book was Dickens' ability to write in a way that simultaneously captured both the emotions of a child as the young Davy experienced these events and those of the man who was looking back on them. With magnificent characters, an interesting plot, and a clear theme, this is truly a masterpiece.
2.2.3 On the «Bleak House»
I was whilst engaged upon Bleak House
that Dickens, for the first time in his career, complained of feeling overwrought. He began the writing of this book in November, 1851, just a year after the close of David Copperfield
, and was busy at it until August 1853; the first of the usual twenty monthly parts appeared in March, 1852, with illustrations by Harlot K. Browne. Doubtless the story cost him a great deal of trouble, for he had set himself a task alien to his genius – that of constructing a neatly elaborate «plot,» a rounded mystery with manifold complications, to serve as the vehicle for his attack upon a monstrous abuse. His letters of the time show that he was not working with the old gusto; he felt his other literary tasks, going on concurrently, very burdensome, to say nothing of the strain imposed by amateur acting and ceaseless social engagements. Of course the method of monthly publication, with author but a little in advance of printer, was, notwithstanding Dickens's deliberate defense, as bad a one as novelist has ever contrived, and we, who owe to it so many of Dickens's blemishes, cannot condemn it too severely. Imagine him to have written how, when, and where he pleased, making his books short or long with regard only to their subject, and choosing his own time for putting forth the complete story, how different would be the possession bequeathed to us!
In the serial issue David Copperfield
had not had a great sale; Bleak House
began at once with a larger, and presently rose to a circulation of nearly twice that attained by the earlier and better book. The wise man does not try very hard to explain such statistics, but it seems intelligible that the opening chapters of Bleak House
should have excited that sort of curiosity which in the public at large means interest; there is a lawsuit involving a great fortune, and there is a mystery affecting aristocratic lives. Herein lay novelty; for the two preceding books, Dumber
, had opened with childhood, and followed a regular biographic tenor. Dickens's first idea with regard to their successor was to call it Tom-all-Alone's
, and to make Jo the centre of interest; obviously a project of no great promise and soon abandoned. I have somewhere read a suggestion, that in the changed character of his later works, where «plot» takes the place of biographic narrative, we are to note the influence of Dickens's friend, Wilkie Collins; but in the year 1851 Wilkie Collins had published only his first, and uncharacteristic, work of fiction, Antonina
, and it is more likely that, if influence there were of one novelist upon the other, Bleak House
had its part in the shaping of Collins's successful work; Inspector Bucket, at all events, certainly gave a new type to the novelists of crime.
Dickens thought he was making an advance in art. He had been occasionally reproached for the old-fashioned, happy-go-lucky progress of his stories, and now set himself resolutely to amend the fault. The result was a fiction which his biographer considers very nearly perfect. «Look back from the last to the first page of the present novel, and not even in the highest examples of this kind of elaborate care will it be found that event leads more closely to event or that the separate incidents have been planned with a more studied consideration of the bearing they are severally to have on the general result. Nothing is introduced at random, everything tends to the catastrophe, the various lines of the plot converge and fit to its centre, and to this larger interest all the rest is irresistibly drawn» (Forster, Bk. VIII, Chap. I). Now, if we omit the objectionable word «plot,» this is a description of faultless art in the constructing of a story; it will apply, in its degree, to every fine drama, scenic or narrative. But in the case before us its application is imperfect, owing to Dickens's failure to distinguish between art and artifice. In the fable of Bleak House
there is much ingenuity, but an almost total disregard of probability the fitting of incidents suggests a mechanical puzzle rather than the complications of human life; arbitrary coincidence takes the place of well-contrived motive, and at times the motive suggested is glaringly inadequate. Briefly, the plot is not a good plot; infinite labour was wasted in a mistaken direction and here, as in so many of Dickens's novels, we have to enjoy the book in spite of its framework.
To make matters worse, the scheme is not homogeneous; intermingled with this weft of elaborate pattern are patches of a totally different order of work, the chapters of autobiography supposed to be written by Esther Summerson. In Copperfield
, the first-person narrative was a great success, for it was indeed Dickens himself who spoke throughout, with all his qualities of humour and observation, vigour and pathos, allowed free play; one understands that the memory of his delight in achieving that masterpiece tempted him to a repetition of the same method. The result was most unfortunate. Of Esther Summerson as a woman we are liable to form no conception whatever, and we utterly refuse to believe that any hand save one penned the chapters bearing her signature. An attempt is made to write «in character, '' but it is speedily abandoned, and I imagine it would be an easy thing, by the changing of a very few words on each page, to incorporate these Esther portions with the rest of the narrative. The object, presumably, of writing a book in this way is to obtain the effect of varied points of view regarding characters and events; but it is of necessity a mistake in art. With a skill much greater than that of Dickens, the device is employed in Daudet's «Le Nabab» where one still feels that the harmonious construction of the novel is unwarrantably disturbed.
So much for technicalities. To come to the root of the matter, Bleak House
is a brilliant, admirable, and most righteous satire upon the monstrous iniquity of «old Father Antic the Law,» with incidental mockery of allied abuses which, now as then, hold too large a place in the life of the English people.
Needless nowadays to revive the controversies which the book excited; we know that the Court of Chancery disgraced a country pretending to civilization; we know that, not long after the publication of Bleak House
, it submitted to certain reforms yet it is interesting to remember that legal luminaries scoffed at Dickens's indignation and declared his picture utterly unlike the truth. One of these critics (Lord Denman) published a long and severe arraignment of the author, disputing not only his facts, but his theories of human nature. This novel, asserted Lord Denman, contained all Dickens's old faults and a good many new ones. Especially bitter was his lordship on the subject of Mrs. Jellyby, whom he held to be a gross libel on the philanthropic cause of slave emancipation. Many readers, naturally, found subject of offence in Mr. Chadband. Indeed, Bleak House
seems to have aroused emotions in England very much as Martin Chuzzlewit
did in America, the important point being that in neither case did Dickens's satire ultimately injure him with his public; in the end, the laugh was on his side, and with a laugh he triumphed. Not a little remarkable, when one comes to think of it, this immunity of the great writer. Humour, and humour alone, could have ensured it to him. It is all very well to talk of right prevailing, of the popular instinct for justice, and so on; these phrases mean very little. Dickens held his own because he amused. The noblest orator ever born, raising his voice in divine wrath against Chancery and all its vileness would not have touched the «great heart of the People» as did these pages which make gloriously ridiculous the whole legal world from His Lordship in his High Court down to Mr. Guppy on his high stool.
The satire is of very wide application; it involves that whole system of pompous precedent which in Dickens's day was responsible for so much cruelty and hypocrisy, for such waste of life in filth and gloom and wretchedness. With the glaring injustice of the Law, rotting society down to such places as Tom-all-Alone's, is associated the subtler evils of an aristocracy sunk to harmful impotence. With absurd precedent goes foolish pride, and self-righteousness, and every form of idle egoism; hence we have a group of admirable studies in selfish conceit – Harold Skimpole, Mr. Turveydrop, Mr. Chadband, Mrs. Jellyby. Impossible to vary the central theme more adroitly, more brilliantly. In Bleak House
London is seen as a mere dependance of the Court of Chancery, a great gloomy city, webbed and meshed, as it were, by the spinnings of a huge poisonous spider sitting in the region of Chancery Lane; its inhabitants are the blighted, stunted and prematurely old offspring of a town which knows not fresh air. Perfect, all this, for the purpose of the satirist. In this sense, at all events, Bleak House
is an excellently constructed book.
There is no leading character. In Richard Carstone, about whom the story may be said to circle, Dickens tried to carry out a purpose he had once entertained with regard to Walter Gay in Dombey and Son
. That of showing a good lad at the mercy of temptations and circumstances which little by little wreck his life; but Richard has very little life to lose, and we form only a shadowy conception of his amiably futile personality. Still less convincing is his betrothed, Ada, whose very name one finds it difficult to remember. Nothing harder, to be sure, than to make a living picture of one whose part in the story is passive, and in Bleak House
passivity is the characteristic of all the foremost figures; their business is to submit to the irresistible. Yet two of these personages seem to me successful studies of a kind in which Dickens was not often successful; I cannot but think that both Sir Leicester Dedlock and John Jarndyce is, each in his way, an excellent piece of work, making exactly the impression at which the author aimed. Compare Jarndyce with Mr. Pickwick and with the brothers Cheeryble. It is to their world that he belongs, the world of eccentric benevolence; he is the kind of man Dickens delighted to portray; but Mr. Jarndyce is far more recognizably a fellow-mortal than his gay predecessors; in truth, he may claim the style of gentleman, and perhaps may stand for the most soberly agreeable portrait of a gentleman to be found in all Dickens's novels. Sir Leicester, though he shows in the full light of satiric intention, being a figurehead on the crazy old ship of aristocratic privilege, is a human being akin to John Jarndyce; he speaks with undue solemnity, but behaves at all times as noblesse oblige
, and, when sinking beneath his unmerited calamities, makes no little claim upon our sympathetic admiration. We have travelled far since the days of Sir Mulberry Hawk; the artist, meanwhile, had made friends in the privileged class of his countrymen, and had learnt what the circumstances of his early life did not allow him to perceive, that virtue and good manners are not confined to the middle and lower orders. He would not go so far as to make Sir Leicester intelligent; in spite of personal experience, Dickens never reconciled himself to the thought of «birth» in association with brains. His instinctive feeling comes out very strongly in that conversation between the Baronet and the Ironmaster which points to Dickens's remedy – the Radical remedy – for all the evils he is depicting.
That the Dedlock tragedy is the least impressive portion of the book results partly from Dickens's inability to represent any kind of woman save the eccentric, the imbecile, and the shrew (there are at most one or two small exceptions), and partly from the melodramatic strain in him, which so often misled his genius. Educated readers of to-day see little difference between these chapters of Bleak House
and the treatment of any like «mystery» in a penny novelette. There is no need to insist on these weaknesses of the master; we admit them as a matter of critical duty, and at the same time point out the characteristics, moral and intellectual, of Victorian England, which account for so many of Dickens's limitations. Had he not been restrained by an insensate prudishness from dealing honestly with Lady Dedlock's story, Lady Dedlock herself might have been far more human. Where the national conscience refuses to recognize certain phases of life, it is not wonderful that national authors should exhibit timidity and ineptitude whenever they glance in the forbidden direction. Instead of a picture, we get a cloudy veil suggestive of nameless horrors; it is the sort of exaggeration which necessarily results in feebleness.
Dickens was very fond of the effect produced by bringing into close contact representatives of social extremes; the typical instance is Lady Dedlock's relations with crossing-sweeper Jo. Contemporary readers saw in Jo a figure of supreme pathos; they wept over his death-bed, as by those of Paul Dombey and of Little Nell. An ecclesiastical dignitary could not find words of solemn praise adequate to his emotions at the end of Chapter XLVII. «Uncultured nature is there
indeed; the intimations of true heart feeling, the glimmerings of higher feeling, all are there; but everything still consistent and in harmony. To my mind nothing in the field of fiction is to be found in English literature surpassing the death of Jo!» That expressed the common judgment; but there were dissentients, especially Lord Denman, who after deploring the introduction of so much squalor – «the author's love of low life appears to grow on him» – went on to protest against Dickens's habit of discovering «delicacy of virtuous sentiment in the lowest depths of human degradation.» We know that Lord Denman was here quite right; for, though virtue may exist in the ignorant and the poor and the debased, most assuredly the delicacies of virtue will not be found in them, and it is these delicacies on which Dickens so commonly insists. If one fact can be asserted of the lowest English it is that, supposing them to say or do a good thing, they will say or do it in the worst possible way. Does there, I wonder, exist in all literature, a scene less correspondent with any possibility of life than that description of Jo's last moments? Dickens believed in it – there is the odd thing. Not a line, not a word, is insincere. He had a twofold mission in life, and, from our standpoint, in an age which has outgrown so many conditions of fifty years ago, we can only mark with regret how the philanthropist in him so often overcame the artist.
His true pathos comes when he does not particularly try for it and is invariably an aspect of his humor. The two chief instances in this book are the picture of Coavinses' children after their father's death, and the figure of Guster, Mrs. Saxby’s slave-of-all-work. Nothing more touching, more natural, more simple, than that scene in Chapter XV where Esther and her companions find the little Convinces locked up for safety in their cold garret, whilst the elder child, Charley, is away at washing to earn food for them all.
«'God help you, Charley!' said my Guardian. 'You're not tall enough to reach the tub!'»
«'In patens I am, Sir, ' she answered quickly. 'I've got a high pair as belonged to mother.'»
That is worth many death-beds of ideal crossing-sweepers. We see it is a possible and intelligible thing that Charley should be a good girl, and her goodness takes precisely the right form. She is healthy in mind and body; her little figure makes one of the points of contrast (others are Mr. Boythorn, and Caddy Jellyby, and Trooper George, and the Bagnet household) which emphasize the sordid evil all about her. Anything but healthy, on the other hand, is Mrs. Snagsby's Guster, the poor slavey whose fits and starved stupidities supply us with such strange matter for mirth. She belongs to the Marchioness group of characters, wherein Dickens's hand has a peculiar skill. «Guster, really aged three or four and twenty, but looking a round ten years older, goes cheap with this unaccountable drawback of fits, and is so apprehensive of being returned on the hands of her patron saint» – the parish – «that except when she is found with her head in the pail, or the sink, or the copper, or the dinner, she is always at work. The law-stationer's establishment is, in Guster's eyes, a temple of plenty and splendour. She believes the little drawing-room upstairs, always kept, as one may say, with its hair in papers and its pinafore on, to be the most elegant apartment in Christendom…. Guster has some recompense for her many privations.» The wonderful thing about such work as this is Dickens's subdual of his indignation to the humorous note. It is when indignation gets the upper hand, and humour is lost sight of, that he falls into peril of unconsciously false sentiment.
Among the characters of this book there is not one belonging to the foremost groups of Dickens's creations, no one standing together with Mr. Micawber and Mr. Pecksniff; yet what novel by any other writer presents such a multitude of strongly-featured individuals, their names and their persons familiar to everyone who has but once read Bleak House
? As I have already remarked, most of them illustrate the main theme of the story, exhibiting in various forms the vice of a fixed idea which sacrifices everything and everybody to its own selfish demands. The shrewdly ingenious Skimpole (I do not stop to comment on the old story of his outward resemblance to Leigh Hunt), the lordly Turveydrop, the devoted Mrs. Jellyby, the unctuously eloquent Mr. Chadband, all are following in their own little way the example of the High Court of Chancery – victimizing all about them on pretence of the most disinterested motives. The legal figures – always so admirable in Dickens – of course strike this key-note with peculiar emphasis; we are in no doubt as to the impulses ruling Mr. Kenge or Mr. Vholes, and their spirit is potent for evil down to the very dregs of society, in Grandfather Smallweed and in Mr. Krook. The victims themselves are a ragged regiment after Dickens's own heart; crazy Chancery suitors, Mr. Jellyby and his hapless offspring, fever-stricken dwellers in Chancery's slums, all shown with infinite picturesqueness – which indeed is the prime artistic quality of the book. For mirth extracted from sordid material no example can surpass Mr. Guppy, who is chicane incarnate; his withdrawal from the tender suit to Miss Summerson, excellent farce, makes as good comment as ever was written upon the law-office frame of mind. That we have little if any frank gaiety is but natural and right; it would be out of keeping with the tone of a world overshadowed by the Law. To regret that Skimpole is not so engaging as Micawber, with other like contrasts, is merely to find fault with the aim which the novelist sets before him. Yet it is probable enough that the rather long-drawn dreariness of some parts of the book may be attributed to the overstrain from which at this time Dickens was avowedly suffering.
In his Preface he tells us that he had «purposely dwelt on the romantic side of familiar things.» But the word romantic does not seem to be very accurately applied. In using it, Dickens no doubt was thinking of the Dedlock mystery, the involvement of a crossing-sweeper in aristocratic tragedies, and so on; all which would be better called melodrama than romance. What he did achieve was to make the common and the unclean most forcibly picturesque. From the fog at the opening of the story to Lady Dedlock's miserable death at the end, we are held by a powerful picture of murky, swarming, rotting London, a marvelous rendering of the impression received by any imaginative person who in low spirits has had occasion to wander about London's streets. Nowhere is Dickens stronger in lurid effects; for a fine horror he never went beyond Chapter XXXII – where it would, of course, be wide of the mark to begin discussing the possibility of spontaneous combustion. Masterly descriptions abound; the Court in Chapter I, the regions of the Law during vacation in Chapter XIX, Mr. Vholes's office in Chapter XXXIX, are among the best. The inquest at the Sol's Arms shows all Dickens's peculiar power of giving typical value to the commonplace; scene and actors are unforgettable; the gruesome, the vile, and the ludicrous combine in unique effects, in the richest suggestiveness. And for the impressive in another kind – still shadowed by the evil genius of the book, but escaped from the city's stifling atmosphere – what could be better than Chapter LVII, Esther's posting through the night with Inspector Bucket. This is very vigorous narrative. We, of course, forget that an amiable young lady is supposed to be penning it, and are reminded of those chapters of earlier books where Dickens revels in the joy of the road.
As a reminder that even in Bleak House
the master did not altogether lose his wonted cheeriness by humble firesides, one may recall the Bagnet household, dwelling at a happy distance from Chancery Lane. Compare the dinner presided over by the Old Girl beside her shining hearth with that partaken of by Mr. Guppy, Mr. Jobling and Mr. Smallweed at their familiar chop-house. Each is perfect in its kind, and each a whole world in little.
Repetition is a language of an emotionally rich excited speech that is why its use and function in the repetition speech of the hero and in the author’s speech it substantially differ from each other. Thus, appearing in the direct speech of hero, repetition witnesses about excited and agitated state of the spacer for example: Behold Mr. and Mrs. Baffin beaming!
As a rule in such cases we have thrice repetitions of words which differ with significant emotional substantiality even out of repetition. Repetition, thus plays double role it emphasized certain part of the speaker and at the same time serves the author as a means of presenting the speaker’s state at moment of speaking.
The greatness of the E. realists lies not only in their satirical portrayal of the bourgeoisie and in the ruling classes but also in their profound humanism which is reveal in their sympathy for the laboring people. These writers create positive characters who are quite alien to the vices of the rich and who are chiefly common people. The best works of the realist writes, the world of greed and cruelty is contrasted to a world where all the unwritten laws of humanism rule in defiance of all the sorrows and inflections that befall the heroes.
The critical realists of the 19th
century didn’t and due to their world outlook couldn’t find a way to eradicate social evils. They strive for no more than improving it by means of reforms which brings them to a futile attempt of trying to reconcile the antagonistic class forces the bourgeoisie and proletariat. The E. working class, however created a lit of its own which can be in full justice, called the character lit, for it developed among the participants of the chartist movement before and after the revolutionary events of 1848. The chartist writers introduced a new theme into E. lit.-the struggle of the proletariat for its rights. The 2nd
half of the 19th
century in E. produced a number of outstanding poets such as Alfred Pennyson (1809–1892), Charles Algernon Swinburne (1837–1909) and other.