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Transcript of Charles Dickens
First Major Novels
A Christmas Carol
the family moved to
working in a
warehouse, or shoe polish
the southern coast of England
Poor but extravagant
-- satirized as
in David Copperfield
The most significant formative event of his life
father in the
David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers, and Little Dorrit.
paid his father's debt
an office boy
reporter or stenographer
at the law courts of London
Sketches by Boz
, his first book!
Catherine Hogarth, had
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club
“Make them laugh; make them cry; make them wait”
ends in a
from lighthearted atmosphere to
All the Year Round
-- the life in the slums
the Victorian reading public
the realistic treatment of the low-life of London
-- criminal, prostitution, poverty, abuse.
Other early novels:
(1838-1839), the brutality of an English boys’ school;
The Old Curiosity Shop
and her grandfather;
(1841), his first
780, the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots)
The only other historical novel,
A Tale of Two Cities
a 5-month lecture tour
of the USA
the abolition of slavery
(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)
His most famous novels published serially in:
All the Year Round
his father and one daughter die within 2 weeks!
many narrative twists
the interrelationship of all segments of English society
an English industrial town in the heyday of capitalist expansion
1. The symbol of the prison
the heroine's father is thrown in a debtors’ prison
2. The symbol of the child as innocent sufferer of the world’s abuses
affair with an actress, separated from his wife
from his novels!
A Tale of Two Cities
1859), a historical novel of the
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)
a young man’s moral development
Pip and Abel Magwitch
Our Mutual Friend (1864-65)
The mounds of rubbish
= the London landscape
unites all members of society = the course of human life from birth to death.
Never gave up his public readings
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
but died in 1870
1. Life and work
3. Oliver Twist
A Christmas Carol
5. Great Expectations
Four of Dickens's novels
born at midnight, a posthumous child, father died 3 months before he was born
, later Mrs. Murdstone
, the maid, later Mrs. Barkis
Miss Betsey Trotwood
, David's aunt -- later his adoptive mother
, in the novel: a mentally ill man, Betsey takes care of him
Edward Murdstone and his sister Jane
-- abuse David, send him to an infamous school, to correct him
-- the vicious schoolmaster
-- David's protector, later stirs many tragic incidents
Peggotty's family in Yarmouth:
the fisherman Pegotty
his adopted relatives
Emily and Ham
a blacking factory
, just like Dickens
: satire of Dickens's father -- great family, always in debts or debtor's prison
aunt in Dover,
: lives with
(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
the wealthy widow
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!
when he leaves her
found by Mr. Peggotty and
taken to Australia
Ham and Steerforth die
Another important subplot involves Uriah Heep!
Blackmailer and wicked
The archetypal hypocrite, " 'umble"
to pick out
--fibers from old ropes, used again for the Queen's ships
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
70 miles on foot
, aka the
, another boy thief
-- the mastermind
Bet and Nancy
-- girl prostitutes
Nancy lives with the harshest villain of all:
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,
, a blacksmith
Pip helps an
: rich and eccentric
her adopted daughter,
("pretty, proud, insulting")
Pip falls in love with Estella
even as a boy
he is too
to become a gentleman
The title =
Pip narrates his story
many years after the events of the novel take place!
to become a gentleman in London!
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:
Jaggers' housekeeper, scars on her wrists
-- 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
Molly, his wife
Estella, their daugther
Mrs. H's fiancee:
, a ruthless man
Magwitch became Compeyson's "slave"
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
, dies in an accident
Eleven years later
, Pip visits the ruins of
and meets her
she asks forgiveness
Pip is left with
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:
, 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
died, had a son --
an apprentice there; big family, celebrated Christmas together
So afraid of living in poverty that he works all the time
The Ghost of Christmas Present
Lives only ONE day (1842 brothers)
-- fun and games
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
no one is sad, no friends, people mock him
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?
in chains, "forged in life", travelling all the time, no peace
still a chance of escaping his fate!