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Charles Dickens

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Prudent Duckling

on 21 February 2017

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Transcript of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

First Major Novels
Later Works
David Copperfield
Oliver Twist
Great Expectations
A Christmas Carol
the family moved to
Camden Town
,
London
12:
working in a
"blacking"
warehouse, or shoe polish
the southern coast of England
a lower-middle-class
Poor but extravagant

father
-- satirized as
Micawber
in David Copperfield
The most significant formative event of his life

father in the
debtors’ prison
David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers, and Little Dorrit.
An
inheritance
paid his father's debt

15:
an office boy
A
reporter or stenographer
at the law courts of London
1836:

Sketches by Boz
, his first book!
Catherine Hogarth, had
10
children
1836:

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club
Serial publication!!!
Dickens's formula:
“Make them laugh; make them cry; make them wait”
Samuel Pickwick
ends in a
debtors’ prison

from lighthearted atmosphere to
gloom!
Oliver Twist
, in
Bentley’s Miscellany
the
EDITOR

of
Bentley’s Miscellany
,
Household Worlds
and
All the Year Round
.
an
innocent orphan
-- the life in the slums
shocked
the Victorian reading public
the realistic treatment of the low-life of London

-- criminal, prostitution, poverty, abuse.
Other early novels:
Nicholas Nickleby
(1838-1839), the brutality of an English boys’ school;
The Old Curiosity Shop
(1840-1841),
Little Nell
and her grandfather;
Barnaby Rudge
(1841), his first
HISTORICAL novel

(1
780, the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots)
The only other historical novel,
A Tale of Two Cities
, (1859)
1842:

a 5-month lecture tour
of the USA
the abolition of slavery
Martin Chuzzlewit
(1843-1844): leaves England for America, where it's even more difficult to survive
Published two Christmas stories:
A Christmas Carol (1843)
and The Chimes
The turning point
of his literary career
a somber view of England
elegiac tone, realistic
The influence of a business society on the members of the Dombey family
Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son (1846-1848)
David Copperfield
(1849-1850)
autobiographical
novel

His favorite!
His most famous novels published serially in:
Household Worlds
(1850-1859)
All the Year Round
(1859)
1851:
his father and one daughter die within 2 weeks!
DARK NOVELS
Bleak House
(1852-1853)

many narrative twists
the interrelationship of all segments of English society
Hard Times
(1854)

an English industrial town in the heyday of capitalist expansion
Little Dorrit
(1855-1857)

1. The symbol of the prison
=

England:
the heroine's father is thrown in a debtors’ prison
2. The symbol of the child as innocent sufferer of the world’s abuses
1857:
affair with an actress, separated from his wife
Began
public readings
from his novels!
A Tale of Two Cities
(
1859), a historical novel of the
French Revolution
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…
Great Expectations (1860-1861)
Bildungsroman
a young man’s moral development
Pip and Abel Magwitch
Many adaptations
Our Mutual Friend (1864-65)
1.
The mounds of rubbish
= the London landscape
2.
The river
unites all members of society = the course of human life from birth to death.
1865:
a
railroad accident
Never gave up his public readings
1869:
began
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
but died in 1870
Midterm test:
1. Life and work
2.
David Copperfield
3. Oliver Twist
4.
A Christmas Carol

5. Great Expectations
Four of Dickens's novels
David:
born at midnight, a posthumous child, father died 3 months before he was born
Mother Clara
, later Mrs. Murdstone
Clara Peggotty
, the maid, later Mrs. Barkis
Miss Betsey Trotwood
, David's aunt -- later his adoptive mother
Mr. Dick
, in the novel: a mentally ill man, Betsey takes care of him
Characters
Edward Murdstone and his sister Jane
-- abuse David, send him to an infamous school, to correct him
Mr. Creakle
-- the vicious schoolmaster
Steerforth
-- David's protector, later stirs many tragic incidents
Peggotty's family in Yarmouth:
Her brother,
the fisherman Pegotty

his adopted relatives

Emily and Ham
LONDON:
in
a blacking factory
, just like Dickens
Lodges with
Wilkins Micawber
: satire of Dickens's father -- great family, always in debts or debtor's prison

aunt in Dover,
adopts him
Canterbury School
: lives with
Mr. Wickfield
Daughter
Agnes
Uriah Heep
,
a clerk
(also, a famous English rock band! Listen to "Lady in Black")
Dora Spenlow, David's wife
-- beautiful, but too young, childish
dies near the end of the novel, pledges
Agnes to marry David
Mrs. Steerforth
,
the wealthy widow
Rosa Dartle
:
lives with Mrs. Steerforth
secretly in love with Steerforth
a visible scar
on her lip caused by Steerforth in childhood
Emily leaves Ham, elopes with Steerforth!
Emily becomes
a prostitute
when he leaves her
found by Mr. Peggotty and
taken to Australia
A storm:
Ham and Steerforth die

Another important subplot involves Uriah Heep!
Blackmailer and wicked
The archetypal hypocrite, " 'umble"
9-year-old orphan
WORKHOUSE:

to pick out
OATUM
--fibers from old ropes, used again for the Queen's ships
hungry children,
GRUEL
Oliver's most famous utterance?
"Please Sir, I want some more."
Many villains before London:

Mr. Bumble (from the workhouse), Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry (the undertakers), Noah Claypole (the nasty boy)
Mark Lester, the most famous Oliver
London
70 miles on foot
Jack Dawkins
, aka the
Artful Dodger
-- meaning?
Charley Bates
, another boy thief
Fagin
-- the mastermind
Bet and Nancy
-- girl prostitutes
Nancy lives with the harshest villain of all:
Bill Sikes
!
His dog:
Bull's-eye

Mr. Brownlow
robbed by the two boy thieves, Oliver is accused
lives with Brownlow
kidnapped by Bill Sykes
Another orphan boy:
Philip Pirrip, aka Pip
a nasty sister
and her husband,
Joe Gargery
, a blacksmith
Pip helps an
escaping convict
Miss Havinsham
: rich and eccentric
her adopted daughter,
Estella

("pretty, proud, insulting")
Pip falls in love with Estella

even as a boy
he is too

common
vouches
to become a gentleman

The title =
ironic,
a warning
Pip narrates his story
many years after the events of the novel take place!
Sudden fortune:

to become a gentleman in London!
Conditions:
1. To keep the name Pip;
2. Never to ask the name of his benefactor.

Pip thinks Miss H. is his benefactor
Important London characters:
Molly:

Jaggers' housekeeper, scars on her wrists

Bentley Drummer
-- the richest young man in London
Her half-brother Arthur and her fiancee plotted against her
Her fiancee left her on her wedding day!

Never took off her wedding dress!
She dies b/c of it, how?
Miss Havensham's Story?
Who is Abel Magwitch?
The runaway criminal and Pip's benefactor
His story?
Molly, his wife
Estella, their daugther
Mrs. H's fiancee:
Compeyson
, a ruthless man
Magwitch became Compeyson's "slave"
Both
arrested for felony
Only Magwitch sentenced (to 14 years)
Encounters Compeyson on a prison ship
chases him to the graveyard, where he meets Pip.
How do the different plots resolve?
Compeyson is drowned in a fight with Magwitch
Magwitch is arrested, to be hanged, but dies
Pip tells him that Estelle is alive
Estelle's husband,
Bentley Drummle
, dies in an accident
Eleven years later
, Pip visits the ruins of
Satis House
and meets her
she asks forgiveness
Pip is left with
no money
Joe pays off all his debts!
To repay him, Pip lives with Herbert and his wife and works as a clerk
I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I left the forge, so the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her.
"Scrooge and Marley"
Marley dies on Christmas Eve
7 years later:
Ebenezer Scrooge
(Robert)
Bob Cratchit
, his clerk
“You will be haunted by Three Spirits. Without their visits, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first to-morrow, when the bell tolls One. Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of Twelve has ceased to vibrate."
The Ghost of Christmas Past
Ebenezer was a solitary child
Sister Fan
died, had a son --
Fred
Fezziwig
:
an apprentice there; big family, celebrated Christmas together
Girlfriend,
Belle
So afraid of living in poverty that he works all the time
The Ghost of Christmas Present
Lives only ONE day (1842 brothers)
Fred's home
-- fun and games
Crachit's family
Large family, one sick child:
Tiny Tim (Timmy), a cripple
Cooked goose instead of turkey
Bob makes a toast to Scrooge
Scrooge pities tiny Tim
“I see a vacant seat, in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved.”
“They are Man’s,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Ebenezer's death:
no one is sad, no friends, people mock him
His
coffin is robbed
by his maid
His death brings only joy
to those who owed him money
Tiny Tim is also dead...
“Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”
“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead. But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change.”
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew...
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well...
And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!
Many adventures, please watch the movie :)
SO, why do you think Oliver's given surname is TWIST?
Marley's ghost:

in chains, "forged in life", travelling all the time, no peace
A WARNING:

still a chance of escaping his fate!
Full transcript