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Charles Dickens

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Jana Stainov

on 22 May 2012

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Transcript of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens
Major Themes
young orphan Oliver Twist
brought up with little food and comfort
runs away and walks to London
involved in criminal acts against his will
manages to escape,but is still being followed by his former criminal group
finds out about the true case of his birth
moves to the countryside and lives a happy life
Institutional cruelty
Mob mentality
City versus countryside
"'Stop thief! Stop thief!' The cry is taken up by a hundred voices, and the crowd accumulate at every turning. Away they fly, splashing through the mud, and rattling along the pavements: up go the windows, out run the people, onward bear the mob, a whole audience desert Punch in the very thickest of the plot, and, joining the rushing throng, swell the shout, and lend fresh vigour to the cry, 'Stop thief! Stop thief!'"
Chapter 10, pages 83-84
The houses on either side were high and large, but very old; and tenanted by people of the poorest class. [...] A great many of the tenements […] which had become insecure from age and decay, were prevented from falling into the street by huge beams of wood which were reared against the tottering walls, and firmly planted in the road; but even these crazy dens seemed to have been selected as the nightly haunts of some houseless wretches, for many of the rough boards which supplied the place of door and window, were wrenched from their positions to afford an aperture wide enough for the passage of a human body. The kennel was stagnant and filthy; the very rats that here and there lay putrefying in its rottenness, were hideous with famine. (5.60)
“There was the little church, in the morning, with the green leaves fluttering at the windows: the birds singing without: filling the homely building with its fragrance. The poor people were so neat and clean, and knelt so reverently in assembling there together; and though the singing might be rude, it was real, and sounded more musical (to Oliver’s ears at least) than any he had ever heard in church before.”
Chapter 32, page 293
[…] there came a rumour that two men and a boy were in the cage at Kingston, who had been apprehended overnight under suspicious circumstances […]. The suspicious circumstances, however, resolving themselves, on investigation, into the fact that they had been discovered sleeping under a haystack, which, although a great crime, is only punishable by imprisonment. (31.84)
Oliver Twist
Writing style
basic structure
Major Themes
Moves to London
Family sent to prison, Charles works in factory
works as clerk in a law office
works as reporter and meets Maria Beadnell
Breaks up with Maria and publishes his first work
publishes under the pseudonym "Boz" and + meets his future wife Catherine Hogarth
Queen Victoria
Marriage to Catherine
wealth and progress
Life in London during the 19th century
Birth of his first child + "Oliver Twist"
poor law (1834)
"Nicholas Nickelby" +Tours through the continent
slums, workhouses
Victorian era
Catherine and Charles make their first trip to North America
"A Christmas Carol"
reigned from 1837 - 1901
Birth of Francis (Frank) + Family Trip to Italy
A Christmas Carol
"At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge, ...
it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."
"Are there no prisons?"
"Plenty of prisons..."
"And the Union workhouses." demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"Both very busy, sir..."
"Those who are badly off must go there."
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." (p.16-p.18)
Charles sister "Fanny" dies
"David Copperfield" + Birth of Henry
Dora and John Dickens die
Charles buys "Gad´s Hill Place"
"Die Zeit"
"Süddeutsche Zeitung"
hr2-Doppel-kopf Am Tisch mit Hans-Dieter Gelfert
Planet Wissen - Königin Viktoria
http://britlitwiki.wikispaces.com/Charles+Dickens; http://www.perryweb.com/Dickens/life_child.shtml; http://charlesdickenspage.com/family_friends.html; http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_was_Charles_Dickens_mother#ixzz1uktWbb6Z;
British Literature Wiki - Charles Dickens
Increase of social inequality-almost every 10th Briton is considered to be poor
Problem: spending deficit of the British budget --> Cameron: "Big Society"
Moral capitalism does not exist !
People have to change there way of thinking
Connection to present GB
Christian Andersen visits "Gad's Hill Place" + Charles falls in love with the actress Ellen Ternan
Charles seperates from Catherine + Catherine leaves "Gad's Hill Place"
Charles suffers from an illness => his left foot remains lame + railroad accident with Ellen Ternan and her mother
Charles gives a lot of public readings
Charles' second trip to the U.S.
Charles gives a lot of public readings, but collapses + begins writing "The Mystery of Erwin Drood"
publication of the first part of "The Mystery of Erwin Drood" + Charles' death
British Empire
Ebeneezer Scrooge is a greedy, selfish and rancorous old man, only money and career value, treats his clerk, Bob Cratchit unfriendly
during a night before Christmas eve four ghosts visit him (Jacob Marley, three Christmas ghosts)
The ghosts have an enormous impact on Scrooge -> he becomes a generous, warm-hearted and likable person
Class stratification, the Victorians' values
"Another idol has displaced me [...]"
"What idol has displaced you?" he rejoined.
"A golden one." (p.62 l.10 - l.15)

"The only emotion that the Ghost could show him, caused by the event, was one of pleasure." (p.124 l.1 - l.2)
"They were not a handsome family; they were not well dressed; their shoes were far from being water-proof; their clothes were scanty; and Peter might have known, and very likely did, the inside of a pawnbroker's. But they were happy, grateful, pleased with one another and contented with the time [...] " (p.91 l.23 - p.92 l.2)
"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!" (p.35 l.15 - l. 19)
Dicken's intention:
criticizes Victorian's rich
wants to awake conscience and moralities
Darkness had set in; it was a low neighbourhood; no help was near; resistance was useless. In another moment he was dragged into a labyrinth of dark, narrow courts, and forced along them at a pace which rendered the few cries he dared to give utterance to, wholly unintelligible. (15.63)
industrial revolution
Many relatives and friends of Charles` die + he sinks into depression
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