Charles Dickens Presentation


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This is my presentation on the contrast between the rich and the poor in the writings of Charles Dickens.

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Charles Dickens Presentation

  1. 1.<br />The Struggle Between the Rich and The Poor <br />in the Writing of Charles Dickens<br />
  2. 2. “There is nothing on which [the world] is so hard as poverty; and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth.” <br />-Scrooge to The Ghost of Christmas Past<br />A Christmas Carol<br /><br />
  3. 3. For richer or poorer<br />Many of Charles Dickens novels have a theme with a definite contrast between rich and poor. Those include:<br /><ul><li>A Tale of Two Cities
  4. 4. Hard Times
  5. 5. A Christmas Carol
  6. 6. Great Expectations
  7. 7. David Copperfield</li></ul>and more…<br />
  8. 8. Angels and Demons<br />Most of Dickens’ poor characters are portrayed as humble and angelic, while the Rich are usually selfish and cold-hearted. <br />One example of a humble and benevolent poor person was Joe Gargery in “Great Expectations”, who was always a loyal and true friend to Pip, even after Pip was embarrassed to be seen with him.<br />“But this may be said of him [Joe Gargery] that he stands for a certain long-suffering in the English poor, a certain weary patience and politeness which almost breaks the heart.” (Chesterton)<br />
  9. 9. Angels…<br />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.<br />“’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!’” <br />-Stephen Blackpool to Rachel<br />Hard Times<br />
  10. 10. Angels…<br />Other Angels include:<br /><ul><li>Ham in David Copperfield – gives his own life saving the man who took his betrothed and then abandoned her.
  11. 11. The Cratchit Family – sweet and humble family from “The Christmas Carol”.</li></ul>“ Dickens sympathizes with the poor and implies that their woes result from society’s unfairness, not their own failings.” (SparkNotes)<br />
  12. 12. Demons?<br />Many of the rich characters in Dickens’ books start out as heartless, but change over time through various circumstances they are forced to deal with. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Ebeneezer Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol”<br />“The ethics of Ebeneezer Scrooge are finally redeemed by a heavy dose of Christian love and charity.” (SUU Faculty)<br />
  13. 13. Reversing Stereotypes<br />Dickens reversed these stereotypes in “A Tale of Two Cities” with the characters of Charles Darnay and Madame Defarge, Dickens reveals his non-stereotypical portrayal of nobility and peasants. He brings to light that not all aristocrats are cruel. Some aristocrats like Darnay do not want oppression nor possess a lust for money and power. Some peasants, on the other hand, can be more cruel than the aristocrats as what was exhibited by the character of the blood-lust Madame Defarge. (Raval)<br />
  14. 14. Works Cited<br />Chesterton, Gilbert Keith. Chapter 20: Great Expectations. 27 September 2010 <>.<br />Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, 2009.<br />—. Great Expectations. London, England: Penguin Group, 1996.<br />Dickens, Charles. "Hard Times." Dickens, Charles. Charles Dickens. New York, NY: Chatham River Press, 1988. 848.<br />goneaway. Hard Times. 30 September 2010 <>.<br /> Chapter Seven: The Marquis in Paris . 28 September 2010 <>.<br />Raval, Stephanie R. Tracing the Interwoven Threads of History in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities . 16 March 2009. 24 September 2010 <>.<br />SparkNotes. David Copperfield. 27 September 2010 <>.<br />SUU Faculty. Charles Dickens and the Social Novel. 29 September 2010 <>.<br /> <br />