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Dickensian London: Charles Dickens acts of philanthropy
Transcript of Dickensian London: Charles Dickens acts of philanthropy
To find how Charles Dickens incorporated social messages into
his novels and articles, and how Charles Dickens studied and observed these social issues in his life. The life of Charles Dickens by: John Foster Charles Dickens literature and letters Charles Dicken's Childhood “ I was a child of close observation, or that as a man I have a strong memory of my childhood, I undoubtedly lay claim to both of these characteristics”
Born Friday February 7th, 1812 at Landport in Portsea to John and Elizabeth Dickens John Dickens served as a navy payroll clerk at Somerset House in London, causing his family to move several times from 1812 - 1824 (Portsmouth, Chatham, London and Camden) Caused Charles to remove himself from St. Giles School and Wellington Academy Dad declares himself an "Insolvent Debtor" February 1824 Charles was sent to Warrens Blackening Factory Felt abandoned and humiliated, and felt his dreams of becoming a learned and distinguished man
" a child of singular abilities, quick, eagar, delicate and soon hurt, bodily and mentally... I have never suffered so much before" government seized possessions and John and his family sent to Marshalsea Prison Facts 19th century London Sympathy for the poor Society often disregarded and evaded assistance for the less fortunate "Choice between being starved by gradual process in the house, or by quick one out of it " Lack of mobility in social status Discrepency between human character and worth as an individual Poor Law of 1834 "The workhouse was little more than a prison for the poor. Civil liberties were denied, families separated, and human dignity destroyed" - David Perdue
Incorporated this into Oliver Twist,
Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend "Kill me sooner than take me there...how they are grudged...I hope I can die as well as another, and I'll die without that disgrace" Betty Higden in Our Mutual Friend Great Expectations Encouraged individual assistance "But the great, first, strong necessity is to rouse the people up, to keep them stirring and vigilant, the carry the war dead into the tent of such creatures- ring into their souls...that the time for dandy insolence is gone forever" Contrasted to his own experience Exploitation of children and Victorian society views Personal experience from his own account at the blackening factory Beginning perspectives That Dickens incorporated SOCIAL ISSUES IN HIS LITERATURE
AND THE LONDON OF HIS TIME.
But what issues?? From previous reading... Result... questioned and encouraged reform of societies treatment of the poor Observed contradictory Victorian Views Childhood as a period of natural innocense and one as natural sin Negative Education David Copperfield Child Labor Children working long
hours in harsh conditions
with little pay Sympathy for Orphans "The deep remembrance of the sense that I had of being utterly neglected and hopeless" Oliver Twist David copperfield Capturing the childs view... Great Expectations Characters brought to life the condition of children during Victorian London The wrongs of the law and justice system Personal Experience... Father's arrest Law Clerk at Ellis & Blackmore Reporter for THe Mirror of Parliment Fueled him with the talent of opinion making and the hope of becoming a literary influence "I think I Could do good service" Addressed Issues Imprisonment Public executions Debt "unlawful" acts Many more injustices.... "a stern master, quick to punish and apparently incapable of kindness and mercy" Pickwick Papers
& in his articles
The Daily News... "The principles advocated in the daily news will be principles of progress and improvement; of education, civil and religious liberty, and equal legislation. principles, such as its conditions believe the advancing spirit of time requires: the condition of the country demands: and justice, reason and experience legitimately sanction" "The principles advocated in the daily news will be principles of progress and improvement; of education, civil and religious liberty, and equal legislation. principles, such as its conditions believe the advancing spirit of time requires: the condition of the country demands: and justice, reason and experience legitimately sanction" "The lowest, the most depraved, the most abandoned of mankind...the public infliction of a violent death is not a salutary spectacle for any class of people; but that is in the nature of things that on the class by whom it is generally witnessed it should have a debasing and hardening influence" Houshold words 1850 Public Health & Sanitation Impact on society as a whole "I hope that I have taken every available opportunity of showing the want of sanitary improvements in the neglected dwellings of the poor" - Martain Cuzzelwit Common Diseases "Look round upon the world of odious sights…breath the polluted air, foul with every impurity that is poisonous to health and life; and have every sense conferred upon our race for its delight and happiness, offended, sickened, and disgusted, and made a channel by which misery and death alone can enter” - Dombey and Son consumption, diphtheria, ague, gout, typhoid fever, typhus, cholera More concerned with poor Sketches by Boz
All The Year Round
Dombey & Son
helped with projects to build sanitary housing for the poor and the reconstruction of waste and plumbing systems Influence of his literature widely read during his time Serialized novels
articles Skill of capturing everyday life... Characters, emotions and expressions from past experiences Praise for Charles Dickens... "as one who made the amelioration of his fellow-men the object of all of his labors" - William Macready "Dickens was one of the best public servants England ever had" - Lord James of Hereford public readings