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Charles Dickens

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Prudent Duckling

on 20 February 2018

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Transcript of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

First Major Novels
Later Works
David Copperfield
Oliver Twist
Great Expectations
A Christmas Carol
the southern coast of England

a lower-middle-class

Poor but extravagant

David Copperfield


Sketches by Boz
, his first book!

Catherine Hogarth, had

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

Samuel Pickwick in a debtor's prison
lighthearted to gloom
Serial publication!!!

Dickens's formula:
“Make them laugh; make them cry; make them wait”
Oliver Twist
Bentley’s Miscellany


Bentley’s Miscellany
Household Worlds
All the Year Round
Other early novels:
Nicholas Nickleby
(1838-1839), the brutality of an English boys’ school;
The Old Curiosity Shop
Little Nell
and her grandfather;

Barnaby Rudge

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

Martin Chuzzlewit
(1843-1844): leaves England for America, where it's even more difficult to survive
A Christmas Carol (1843)
and The Chimes
The turning point
of his literary career

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

his father and one daughter died within 2 weeks!
Bleak House

the interrelationship of all segments of English society
Hard Times

an English industrial town in the heyday of capitalist expansion
Little Dorrit


1. The symbol of the prison

2. 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
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

Pip and Abel Magwitch
Our Mutual Friend
The mounds of rubbish
= the London landscape

The river
= human life from birth to death
railroad accident

Never gave up his public readings

died in 1870
a posthumous child
Mother Clara

Clara Peggotty

Miss Betsey Trotwood
, David's aunt
Edward Murdstone and his sister Jane

Mr. Creakle
-- the vicious schoolmaster

-- David's protector, later stirs many tragic incidents
Peggotty's family in Yarmouth:

Her brother,
the fisherman Pegotty

his adopted relatives

Emily and Ham
a blacking factory

Wilkins Micawber
: satire of Dickens's father
aunt in Dover,
adopts him

Canterbury School

Mr. Wickfield
and his daughter

Uriah Heep
a clerk
Dora Spenlow, David's wife
-- childish

dies near the end of the novel, pledges
Agnes to marry David
9-year-old orphan


to pick out

hungry children,
"Please Sir, I want some more."
Meets many villains before reaching London:

Mr. Bumble, Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry, Noah Claypole
Mark Lester, the most famous Oliver
Artful Dodger

-- the mastermind

Bet and Nancy
-- girl prostitutes

Bill Sikes
His dog:

Mr. Brownlow
gets robbed by the two boy thieves, Oliver is accused
Another orphan boy:
Philip Pirrip, aka Pip

Pip helps an
escaping convict
Miss Havisham

her adopted daughter,
is too

to become a gentleman

The title =
a warning

Pip narrates his story
many years after the events of the novel take place!
Sudden fortune


1. To keep the name Pip;

2. Never to ask the name of his benefactor.

Miss Havisham's Story
Who is Abel Magwitch?
Estella, his daughter

Miss Havisham's fiancee:
a ruthless man

Magwitch became Compeyson's "slave"
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
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
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
“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

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!
Marley's ghost:

chains, "forged in life"


still a chance of escaping his fate!
Camden Town

warehouse, or shoe polish

an office boy

reporter or stenographer
at the law courts of London
father in the
debtors’ prison

David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers, and Little Dorrit.
lavish wealth of
description, character, pathos, humour

"He wrote from his heart; picturing completely all he had suffered as a child."
Her fiancee left her on her wedding day!

Never took off her wedding dress!
She dies b/c of it, how?
What does he show Ebenezer?
Fagin, "the loathsome reptile"
The mud lay thick upon the stones, and a black mist hung over the streets; the rain fell sluggishly down, and everything felt cold and clammy to the touch. It seemed just the night when it befitted such a being as the Jew to be abroad. As he glided stealthily along, creeping beneath the shelter of the walls and doorways, the hideous old man seemed like some loathsome reptile, engendered in the slime and darkness through which he moved: crawling forth, by night, in search of some rich offal for a meal.
Justice for everybody?
Chapter 52, “Fagin’s Last Night Alive”
He cowered down upon his stone bed, and thought of the past. He had been wounded with some missiles from the crowd on the day of his capture, and his head was bandaged with a linen cloth. His red hair hung down upon his bloodless face; his beard was torn, and twisted into knots; his eyes shone with a terrible light; his unwashed flesh crackled with the fever that burnt him up. Eight—nine—then. If it was not a trick to frighten him, and those were the real hours treading on each other's heels, where would he be, when they came round again! Eleven! Another struck, before the voice of the previous hour had ceased to vibrate. At eight, he would be the only mourner in his own funeral train; at eleven—
129 appearances in forty-nine different towns
Chapter I
I am Born

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.
According to my experience, the conventional notion of a lover cannot be always true. The unqualified truth is, that when I loved Estella with the love of a man, I loved her simply because I found her irresistible. Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Once for all; I loved her none the less because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection.
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