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Charles Dickens - Research Paper Example

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ENG 244 Spring 2011 Name – Charles Dickens Order No. 528007 One of the greatest English novelists of his time was Dickens, Charles John Huffam (1812 – 1870) who was born at Landport in a house which was much later opened as a Dicken’s Museum in the year 1904…
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Download file to see previous pages Dickens was a highly influential personality in the social reforms of Victorian England and his thoughts and ideas were infused with a keen sense of observation that clearly reflected the liberalism of the thirties. In all of his literary works he projected a great power over human emotions with an incomparable measure of human fun and frolic. His literary works were intended to bring about a positive change in the society and hence was centered around his experiences from his childhood, adolescence and all through his growing and maturing years. 1 During the 19th century, there were great thinkers like Karl Marx, Carlyle and Ruskin whose strongly formulated ideas laid the foundation for social reform. However, it was men such as Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy who through their literary work shed light on the abuses of the Industrial Age in Victorian England. Through his writing Dickens enlightened the masses about the abuses of urban life, while Hardy shed light on the devastation on rural life brought about by the Industrial Age. One of Dicken’s most influential novels was ‘Hard Times’ that got published in 1854. The chief premise of this novel was about “The Preston Lockout of 1853 -54” which highlighted the great labor dispute that took place in the weaving industry. Dickens supported the workers through his writings that surprisingly did not advocate the establishing of trade unions because he felt that such unions were only a symptom of the disease and not the cure. However, in later years trade unions played a major role by improving the lot of the working class. According to (Orwell, citing Macaulay, Dickens pg.6) -‘Hard Times’ has been condemned for its “sullen Socialism”. These great Victorians denounced the evils of modern society and brought about by the Industrial Revolution and had a vision of a better future and ushered in an era of gradual social change. During the 1760’s England experienced the communal system of agriculture, where the land was divided and cultivated by the Yeomen who worked for them. These Yeomen lived in clustered cottages and pastured their cattle on common pastures. They had wooden implements which were inadequate for their work and their methods of farming 2 were very ancient. Every Yeoman’s house was his factory where all his family members took part in the work. “Every family spun from its own flock the wool with which it was clothed.” (Wordsworth Guide, p. 60) It was these influences that ushered in a ray of hope in the sky for its citizens. He keenly studied the minds and hearts of the people and knowing what they desired, he reflected his thoughts through his works. He delved deep into the recesses of the minds of the low- bred man by exalting the virtues of chastity, piety and honesty in a way that was strange to them. Charles Dickens is considered to be the conscience of Victorian England. He was quite famous for portraying and exposing the wretchedness of the poor and the downtrodden and was also well known for venting his anger against heartless oppression. It was the reason of these qualities that made him an exceedingly successful author. He was also well known for having burlesqued the Americans by making fun of their airy obscurity of Transcendentalism that is quite evident in his serialized novel titled ‘Martin Chuzzlewit.’ (1842-44) In sharp contrast to the Industrial Age, (Defoe, Tour, pp. 155-156) explains about the idyllic atmosphere that prevailed during that time. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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