fromoldbooks.orgThe Struggle Between the Rich and The Poor     in the Writing of Charles Dickens
―There is nothing on which [the world] is so hard aspoverty; and there is nothing it professes to condemnwith such severit...
Many of Charles Dickens novels have atheme with a definite contrast between    rich and poor. Those include:•A Tale of Two...
Most of Dickens’ poor characters are portrayed as humble andangelic, while the Rich are usually selfish and cold-hearted.O...
Another poor character that was angelic was Rachael from ―Hard Times‖.  The man she loved, Stephen Blackpool, was married ...
Other Angels include:• Ham in David Copperfield – gives his own life  saving the man who took his betrothed and  then aban...
Many of the rich characters in Dickens’ books start out as heartless, butchange over time through various circumstances th...
Dickens reversed these stereotypes in ―A Taleof Two Cities‖ with the characters of CharlesDarnay and Madame Defarge, Dicke...
Chesterton, Gilbert Keith. Chapter 20: Great Expectations. 27 September 2010 <http://www.online-literature.com/chesterton/...
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  1. 1. fromoldbooks.orgThe Struggle Between the Rich and The Poor in the Writing of Charles Dickens
  2. 2. ―There is nothing on which [the world] is so hard aspoverty; and there is nothing it professes to condemnwith such severity as the pursuit of wealth.‖ -Scrooge to The Ghost of Christmas Past A Christmas Carol
  3. 3. Many of Charles Dickens novels have atheme with a definite contrast between rich and poor. Those include:•A Tale of Two Cities•Hard Times•A Christmas Carol•Great Expectations•David Copperfieldand more…
  4. 4. Most of Dickens’ poor characters are portrayed as humble andangelic, while the Rich are usually selfish and cold-hearted.One example of a humble and benevolent poor person was Joe Gargeryin ―Great Expectations‖, who was always a loyal and true friend toPip, even after Pip was embarrassed to be seen with him.―But this may be said of him [Joe Gargery] that hestands for a certain long-suffering in the Englishpoor, a certain weary patience and politenesswhich almost breaks the heart.‖ (Chesterton)
  5. 5. Another poor character that was angelic was Rachael from ―Hard Times‖. The man she loved, Stephen Blackpool, was married to her sister. Her sister was a drunken bum, so Rachael cared for her sister and Stephen, even though she could not be married to him. ―’Thou changest me from bad to good. Thou mak’st me humbly wishfo’ to be more like thee, and fearfo’ to lose thee when this life is ower, an’ a’ the muddle cleared awa’. Thou’rt an Angel; it may be, thou hast saved my soul alive!’‖ -Stephen Blackpool to Rachel Hard Times
  6. 6. Other Angels include:• Ham in David Copperfield – gives his own life saving the man who took his betrothed and then abandoned her.• The Cratchit Family – sweet and humble family from ―The Christmas Carol‖. ― Dickens sympathizes with the poor andimplies that their woes result from society’s unfairness, not their own failings.‖ (SparkNotes)
  7. 7. Many of the rich characters in Dickens’ books start out as heartless, butchange over time through various circumstances they are forced to dealwith. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Ebeneezer Scrooge from―A Christmas Carol‖ ―The ethics of Ebeneezer Scrooge are finally redeemed by a heavy dose of Christian love and charity.‖ (SUU Faculty)
  8. 8. Dickens reversed these stereotypes in ―A Taleof Two Cities‖ with the characters of CharlesDarnay and Madame Defarge, Dickens revealshis non-stereotypical portrayal of nobility andpeasants. He brings to light that not allaristocrats are cruel. Some aristocrats likeDarnay do not want oppression nor possess alust for money and power. Some peasants, onthe other hand, can be more cruel than thearistocrats as what was exhibited by thecharacter of the blood-lust Madame Defarge.(Raval)
  9. 9. Chesterton, Gilbert Keith. Chapter 20: Great Expectations. 27 September 2010 <http://www.online-literature.com/chesterton/dickensworks/20/>.Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, 2009.—. Great Expectations. London, England: Penguin Group, 1996.Dickens, Charles. "Hard Times." Dickens, Charles. Charles Dickens. New York, NY: Chatham RiverPress, 1988. 848.goneaway. Hard Times. 30 September 2010 <http://everything2.com/title/Hard+Times>.PinkMonkey.com. Chapter Seven: The Marquis in Paris . 28 September 2010<http://www.pinkmonkey.com/booknotes/monkeynotes/pmTale2Cities23.asp>.Raval, Stephanie R. Tracing the Interwoven Threads of History in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of TwoCities . 16 March 2009. 24 September 2010 <http://www.scribd.com/doc/17675263/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities-Historical-Approach>.SparkNotes. David Copperfield. 27 September 2010<http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/copperfield/themes.html>.SUU Faculty. Charles Dickens and the Social Novel. 29 September 2010<http://www.suu.edu/faculty/ping/pdf/DickensandtheSocialNovel.pdf>.

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