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American Notes - Book Report/Review Example

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Instructor Date American Notes American notes is a book by Charles dickens which provides an analysis and conditions of a state prison. In this chapter, Dickens gives a wider scope of the prisoners’ thoughts and feelings. The book provides the readers with reasons as to why prisoners have the feeling of hopelessness…
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Download file to see previous pages Dickens experienced firsthand prison life during a prison in Pennsylvania. The conditions in the prison are strict, rigid and a confinement of hopelessness. With its conditions aimed at being cruel and wrong to prisoners, it served its purpose at its best. Its intention is bringing about reformation t prisoners. However, Dickens (pp.121) believes that the people who drafted these conditions had no human feelings whatsoever. Apart from the drafters of the prison discipline, the executers are not also in their right state of consciousness when carrying out the orders and punishment. The executers display a feeling of discontent with what they carry out. They have a feeling of guilt but display a different kind of feeling towards their fellow creatures. Dickens believes that no one in his right state of mind and conscious has a right to inflict such inhuman acts on his fellow creature. During his visit, Dickens was accompanied by two gentlemen who were involved in the management of the prison. Due to this, every piece of information he sought was given to him. He was given the full view of the prison structure. The arrangement order of the building cannot be praised highly,but considering the motives behind the establishment of the prison, the building structure cannot be questioned. On entering the prison, there are seven strips covered by cell on either side. The same numbers of cells are also above the ground cells. These squeezed cells tend to compensate the lack of air in the cells. The cells are thick walled in a way prisoners cannot communicate but the warders can hear them. In his work, Dickens explains how the prison condition of stillness turns prisoners dumb till the day their term ends. Prisoners here do not have less information about their wives, children and friends. This drives to their living in conditions of fewer interactions. They wait till the day of their release to think about their lives again. The only voice a prisoner hears is that of the prison warder. In this case, they torture them so it never counts as human interaction to them. This work portrays them as dead and buried waiting for their resurrection on the day of their release (Dickens, pp.123). Interactions between prisoners and warders are further heightened because the warders hardly know about the crimes of the prisoners. Additionally, the prisoners themselves also know about their release only hours before it is granted. This makes them live in uncertainty. They wait for the management to grant them their freedom. But until then, they live extremely lonely loves in cells corners. In these cells, labour and activities are the only interactions the prisoners have with the outside walls. Although they live in denial about their convictions, they vow to make their lives better. During Dickens walk in the prisons, he could sense the fear in the prisoners whenever they are addressed by his two counter parts. It was difficult to tell if the prisoners were telling the truth or they are being manipulated. An experience with a German prisoner was very emotional for Dickens. The prisoner had beautiful painted his feelings on the cell walls. The painting was a display of his pains and sorrows. He then pleaded with one of Dickens counter parts to let him know if his prison sentence can be turned back. The man cheeks were filled with tears as he communicated with the prison manager. According to Dickens (pp.125), the scenario was too ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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