By David Paroissien
A spouse to Charles Dickens concentrates at the ancient, ideological, and social forces that outlined Dickens’s global.
- Puts Dickens’s paintings into its literary, old, and social contexts
- Traces the improvement of Dickens’s profession as a journalist and novelist
- Includes unique essays by means of prime Dickensian students on every one of Dickens’s fifteen novels
- Explores a wide variety of subject matters, together with criticisms of his novels, using historical past and legislation in his fiction, language, and the influence of political and social reform
- Examines Dickens's legacy and surveys the mass of secondary fabrics that has been generated in reaction and reverence to his writing
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Extra resources for A Companion to Charles Dickens
An employment history provides the skeleton of Dickens’s autobiographical fragment, but not its haunting power. What drives the revelations of the document as a confession are two forms of exposure: the social shame of common work and the personal bitterness of familial abandonment and betrayal. What animates it as a personal history is the opportunity that conjunction of exposures creates: a catastrophic, but liberating, initiation into experience as a child alone in the city. It is an intensely egocentric account, class-bound to the point of snobbery, and self-pitying: the parents’ misfortunes providing the context for the child’s sufferings, and the siblings’ stories subordinated to his own.
Less dramatic, but equally strange, is the inversion of prison and home. ” When he falls ill at work, however, and is taken “home” by his workmate, he enacts an elaborate charade, knocking on an unknown door as “a finishing piece of reality” to conceal his actual destination. ” He must protect himself from contempt by “skilful” work, but he must do more to mark his distinction: “Though perfectly familiar with them, my conduct and manners were different enough from theirs to place a space between us.
Denouncing his own neglect and declaring his achievement, Dickens retrieves from taboo the latent power of his unspeakable past. 1067): his innocence Paradise Lost, at the prompting of the woman. ” It is the betrayal of the mother, seduced by worldly considerations, that underpins the pain of the autobiographical fragment. The depth of the transgression is proportionate to the distinction of the child “so easily cast away . . ” Thus, within a paragraph, the infant phenomenon is abstracted, first by his qualities, and then through an extraordinary conjectural “life,” from his actual circumstances.