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The Adventures of Caleb Williams by Godwin, William - Book Review The Adventures of Caleb Williams is an 18th century novel by William Godwin; it sheds light upon how reputation and wealth were considered in England during the 1700s. The book was written during the French Revolution of the 18th century (Godwin 2004, p.4)…
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Download file to see previous pages Despite being an anarchist, he strongly opposed the use of violence to solve the problems facing society. Rather, he believed that the society could be reformed through active non-violence. The story in the novel The Adventures of Caleb Williams revolves around Caleb, who despite being a poor orphan, manages to get better education. He later earns a lot of respect from community members owing to his enlightenment. The novel, basically, gives an account of the position taken by Caleb with respect to the wealthiest man in the neighborhood, Mr. Falkland (Godwin 2004, p.5). The fact that Mr. Falkland has a lot of wealth in the village makes his respectable to the extent that villagers, including Caleb, worship him. Nevertheless, Caleb appears to be very suspicious of Mr. Falkland. He believes that Mr. Falkland engages in unethical activities. As a result, Caleb decides to investigate Mr. Falkland’s past only to unearth some damning information. In the novel The Adventures of Caleb William, Godwin as the author tries to expose the rot in the political and social spheres of England during the 18th century (Godwin 2004, p.6). Godwin exposes vices by giving an overview of the injustices that were the orders of the day in the prison system. He also exposes the oppression of peasants by landlords, the oppression of the poor by the elite, as well the oppression of common citizens by government. The author reveals the injustice of the political and social system through various scenes. For example, he exposes an incident in which Mr. Falkland, knowingly and willingly, witnesses the execution of two innocent men for a crime that he committed himself. This is brought out when Caleb exposes the secret murder of Tyrrel, one of the landlords, by Falkland. Immediately after the murder, Caleb informs the public that Falkland used his power and wealth to blame two innocent men for the murder that led to the execution of the two innocent men (Godwin 2004, p.9). Nevertheless, when Falkland discovers that Caleb knows the truth about the incident, he threatens Caleb with grave consequences, warning him against exposing him further to the public. Despite the threats that he receives from Falkland, Caleb goes ahead to expose murder to the public, a move that puts him at loggerheads with Falkland. Caleb ends up paying the price of revealing the truth when Falkland implants jewelry in his bag later accusing him of being a thief (Godwin 2004, p.16). Without the authorities carrying proper and impartial investigations, Caleb ends up in prison. After staying in prison for a while, Caleb makes a daring escape but he is later recaptured in the streets of London. However, his release from prison comes quick with the intervention of Falkland. Falkland actually uses his power and wealth to manipulate Caleb’s release from prison (Godwin 2004, p.20) after he senses that he is in jeopardy of revelation of his deeds to a greater extent if he keeps Caleb in prison. As a result, Caleb is released from prison without a trial. This shows how injustice, impunity, and corruption were rife in the society during the time that the novel was written. Godwin’s fictional story gives a clear depiction of painful and intolerable oppression and the kind of bullying that the good people of 18th century were subjected to in their pursuit for justice and equality. Despite being set ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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