By Lucinda Hawksley 17 December In the winter of a work-weary Charles Dickens arrived in Boston harbour, following a long sea voyage from England. It was 25 years since he had last visited the US, at which time he had travelled with his now-estranged wife, Catherine, celebrated his 30th birthday in Massachusetts and realised that he was indeed an international celebrity. That a quarter of a century had elapsed was not only due to the Civil War, but because it had taken that long for many Americans to forgive Dickens.
Dickens showed compassion and empathy towards the vulnerable and disadvantaged segments of English society, and contributed to several important social reforms. In his adult life Dickens developed a strong social conscience, an ability to empathise with the victims of social and economic injustices.
In a letter to his friend Wilkie Collins dated September 6,Dickens writes of the importance of social commitment: Dickens believed in the ethical and political potential of literature, and the novel in particular, and he treated his fiction as a springboard for debates about moral and social reform.
In his novels of social analysis Dickens became an outspoken critic of unjust economic and social conditions. His deeply-felt social commentaries helped raise the collective awareness of the reading public.
Dickens contributed significantly to the emergence of public opinion which was gaining an increasing influence on the decisions of the authorities.
The Novel a Repository of Social Conscience Dickens was a great moralist and a perceptive social commentator. He was by no means completely under the influence of Carlyle, but he followed his teaching when he exposed the ills of Victorian society.
Although his fiction was not politically subversive, he called to remedy acute social abuses. In common with many nineteenth-century authors, Dickens used the novel as a repository of social conscience. However, as Louis James argues: A novelist universally associated with social issues, he was attacked for allowing his imagination to come between his writing and his subject, and his underlying attitudes can be evasive.
In his fiction, most characters have a job; but Dickens rarely shows them at work. His novels are centrally about social relationships, yet his model for this would seem, as Cazamian noted, a perpetual Christmas of warm feelings, and the benevolent paternalism of Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol Pickwick sits for his Portrait.
It was quite dark when Mr. Pickwick roused himself sufficiently to look out of the window. The straggling cottages by the roadside, the dingy hue of every object visible, the murky atmosphere, the paths of cinders and brick-dust, the deep-red glow of furnace fires in the distance, the volumes of dense smoke issuing heavily forth from high toppling chimneys, blackening and obscuring everything around; the glare of distant lights, the ponderous wagons which toiled along the road, laden with clashing rods of iron, or piled with heavy goods — all betokened their rapid approach to the great working town of Birmingham.
As they rattled through the narrow thoroughfares leading to the heart of the turmoil, the sights and sounds of earnest occupation struck more forcibly on the senses.
The streets were thronged with working people. The hum of labour resounded from every house; lights gleamed from the long casement windows in the attic storeys, and the whirl of wheels and noise of machinery shook the trembling walls.
The fires, whose lurid, sullen light had been visible for miles, blazed fiercely up, in the great works and factories of the town. The din of hammers, the rushing of steam, and the heavy clanking of engines was the harsh music which arose from every quarter.
His early novels expose isolated abuses and shortcomings of individual people, whereas his later novels contain a bitter diagnosis of the Condition of England.A Christmas Carol has , ratings and 13, reviews. Bookdragon Sean said: I read this every year at Christmas, and I always will do.
Simply because. Charles Dickens Books: Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic.
Considered the greatest novelist to come out of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens has gone down in history as being an essential part of the Western literary canon. Dr Claire Wood examines how Dickens blends multiple genres in Oliver Twist, including melodrama, the Gothic, satire and social commentary.
Oliver Twist can also be seen as a deliberately experimental novel through which the young writer developed his skills by exploring various literary techniques. Dickens took up social causes early in his career and, after the success of Oliver Twist, resolved to use the novel as a vehicle for social commentary.
Sunday Under Three Heads By , England’s social classes were not only divided by economics; they also observed religion differently. Britannica Classics: Early Victorian England and Charles DickensClifton Fadiman examining the inspiration Charles Dickens's work took from the milieu of Victorian England, with its startling contrasts of morality and hypocrisy, splendour and squalor, prosperity and poverty.
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