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Charles dickens’ novels

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Charles dickens’ novels

  1. 1. CHARLES DICKENS’ NOVELS UD 3 - COMPLEMENTOS PARA LA FORMACIÓN DISCIPLINARIA EN LENGUA INGLESA Chiara Mastrorocco
  2. 2. CHARLES DICKENS  Portsmouth 1812 – Kent 1870  Born in a poor family he was second of eight children.  He had a difficult childhood, his father was jailed and he was forced to leave school and work in a factory.
  3. 3. CHARLES DICKENS’ CAREER  started in 1833 as a journalist  few years later - worked for the two major London newspapers  the connections to various magazines and newspapers gave him the opportunity to begin publishing his own works.  he was regarded as one of the most successful authors of the Victorian period.  today he is considered one of the greatest British novelist and his numerous works are now considered classics.
  4. 4. CHARLES DICKENS’ NOVELS  The Pickwick Papers – 1836  Oliver Twist – 1837  Nicholas Nickleby – 1838  The Old Curiosity Shop – 1840  Barnaby Rudge – 1841  A Christmas Carol - 1843  Martin Chuzzlewit – 1843  Dombey and Son – 1846  David Copperfield – 1849  Bleak House – 1852  Hard Times – 1854  Little Dorrit – 1855  A Tale of Two Cities – 1859  Great Expectations – 1860  Our Mutual Friend – 1864  The Mystery of Edwin Drood – 1870
  5. 5. THE PICKWICK PAPERS – 1836  Charles Dickens’ first novel.  It was initially published in monthly instalments from March of 1836 until November 1837.  The subject is the injustice of the justice system.  This is a comic novel, full of humorous quotes dealing with the legal system. “Why, I don’t exactly know about perjury, my dear sir,” replied the little gentleman. “Harsh word, my dear sir, very harsh word indeed. It’s a legal fiction, my dear sir, nothing more.”
  6. 6. OLIVER TWIST – 1837  The book's subtitle is “The Parish Boy's Progress”  It is the story of an orphan boy, Oliver Twist, who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London and his miserable adventures.  The main subjects are social oppression, criminality and the cruel treatment of the many orphans in London during the Dickens’ Era.  In 1999 Tv – mini series  In 2005 – film by Roman Polanski “Come, -said Mr. Bumble- , somewhat less pompously, for it was gratifying to his feelings to observe the effect his eloquence had produced; 'Come, Oliver! Wipe your eyes with the cuffs of your jacket, and don't cry into your gruel; that's a very foolish action, Oliver.” - Chapter 2 –
  7. 7. NICHOLAS NICKLEBY – 1838  First published on March 31 1838, last instalment was published on October 1, 1839.  Nicholas is sent to teach at Dotheboys Hall, a school where there are no holidays, no trips home for the abused and neglected pupils of Mr. Wackford Squeers.  The main goal is to denounce the ugly truth about Yorkshire boarding schools.  In early 1838 Dickens and Hablot Browne (illustrator for Nickleby), travelled to Yorkshire to see the boarding schools for themselves and discovered a terrible reality: pupils became blind because of beatings and poor nutrition, it was common for one pupil to die every year.  Dickens’s mother, Elizabeth Dickens, was the model for the always confused, comic Mrs. Nickleby. Luckily for Charles she didn’t recognize herself in the character. “I'm pretty well. So's the family, and so's the boys, except for a sort of rash as is a running through the school, and rather puts 'em off their feed.[...] and if a boy repines at a visitation and makes you uncomfortable with his noise, he must have his head punched. That's going according to the Scripter, that is.” ― Charles Dickens,” Nicholas Nickleby”
  8. 8. THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP - 1840  The novel was published in instalments in the periodical “Master Humphrey’s Clock”.  It is about the life of Nell Trent (an orphan girl) and her grandfather, both residents of The Old Curiosity Shop in London.  At the time of its writing it’s rumoured that people waited on the docks of New York for the last instalments of “The Old Curiosity Shop”. When the ship carrying the magazines arrived people in the crowd asked, “Is Little Nell dead?”  While writing it, Dickens brought back painful memories of the death of his sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth. “Because the memory of those who lie below, passes away so soon. At first they tend them, morning, noon, and night; they soon begin to come less frequently; from once a day, to once a week; from once a week to once a month […]” - Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
  9. 9. A CHRISTMAS CAROL - 1843  The most successful book of the 1843 holiday season.  By Christmas it sold six thousand copies and it continued to be popular into the new year.  Dickens was very concerned with impoverished children who turned to crime and delinquency in order to survive.  The story is about Scrooge’s legendary transformation, a greedy, selfish person who changes after a ghostly night and sees life in a whole new way.  The book is as popular today as it was over 150 years ago. «I’m the Ghost of Christmas Present» said the spirit «look upon me»
  10. 10. DOMBEY AND SON - 1848  Published in monthly parts Oct 1846 - Apr 1848.  The novel tells the story of Paul Dombey, powerful head of the House of Dombey, who wants a son but when a daughter (Florence) is born he despises her, his second child (Paul) dies for sickness and her wife dies giving birth to him. He gets married again but his second wife doesn’t love him and runs away with Carker, a manager at the firm. At the end he reconciled with his daughter, living with her family.  It is considered Dickens first artistically mature work.  After “Dombey and Son” Dickens' reputation as a world class author was established. “Where is Florence?' 'I am here, Papa, I am here.' 'I don't know her!' he would cry. 'We have been parted so long, that I don't know her!' and then a staring dread would he upon him, until she could soothe his perturbation; and recall the tears she tried so hard, at other times, to dry.“ Charles Dickens -“Dombey and Son” – Chapter 61
  11. 11. DAVID COPPERFIELD – 1849  Pseudo-autobiographical novel.  Also considered an industrial novel, it reflects the misery experienced during the industrial revolution. AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ELEMENTS:  The name of the main character, David Copperfield, has the inverted initials of its author, Charles Dickens.  David’s pretty young mother, was inspired by Dickens’s mother, who attended a ball on the night she gave birth to her son Charles.  Both his father and Mr. Micawber were imprisoned for debt.  David’s employment at Murdstone and Grinby’s is drawn from Dickens’s own painful experiences at Warren’s Blacking Factory. “…like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield.“ – Preface 1867 edition.
  12. 12. BLEAK HOUSE – 1852  The title refers to the social ills and hypocrisy.  One character, Krook, dies via an unusual method: a spontaneous combustion.  The idea is to demonstrate that passionate forces can lie within us and the flaws in the British Court of Chancery (handled items like property disputes) are considered an ineffective, expensive and technically difficult system.  Dickens was very familiar with the court system (time spent as a law clerk). He also had a bad experience with the court in 1844. “But injustice breeds injustice; the fighting with shadows and being defeated by them necessitates the setting up of substances to combat.” Charles Dickens - Bleak House
  13. 13. HARD TIMES – 1854  Published in weekly parts Apr 1854 - Aug 1854, without illustrations.  Novel of denunciation  It describes the appalling conditions of life in factory towns, hypocrisy of the rich, and their indifference to the problems of the poor.  Dickens again flies the banner of social reform, touching on themes of industrialization, education, and utilitarianism during the Industrial Revolution of the 1850's.  Considered one of his masterpiece and "his only serious work of art“ (Levis).  Taught in schools (it is Dickens' shortest major work). ”Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the mind of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.” Charles Dickens - Hard Times –
  14. 14. LITTLE DORRIT (1855-1857)  A work of satire on the shortcomings of the government and society of the period.  The principal theme is imprisonment.  He focuses upon the institutions of debtors' prisons.  Clear reference to his own experience as a boy of visiting his father in that prison.  “Little Dorrit” is about a girl who daily visits her father, William Dorrit, locked up for years in prison. “Her look at her father, half admiring him and proud of him, half ashamed for him, all devoted and loving, went to his inmost heart. “ Charles Dickens - Little Dorrit
  15. 15. A TALE OF TWO CITIES – 1859  The novel takes place during the French Revolution.  It is an exploration of London and Paris as a weird comparative case study.  In 1857 Dickens acted in the play “The Frozen Deep“ as the character of Richard Wardour.  Wardour wants to kill Frank Aldersley because he stole his true love, Clara, but instead Wardour ends up saving Aldersley’s life at the cost of his own. Wardour dies in Clara’s arms and earns her eternal gratitude for saving the life of the man that she loves.  The play gave him the idea for “A Tale of Two Cites,” and brought lasting changes to Dickens’s life (was not happy in his marriage). “I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out…”
  16. 16. GREAT EXPECTATIONS – 1860  It is a grotesque-tragicomic novel because of the mix of comedy and tragedy.  The major themes in the novel are all related to ambition (great expectation).  It is about Pip, his dream to become a gentleman and his interior transformations.  The aim is to demonstrate that affection, loyalty and conscience are more important than social advancement, wealth, and class.  A different ending was planned, then Dickens was persuaded by his friend, Bulwer-Lytton to change the ending to a happier one. ”...suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
  17. 17. OUR MUTUAL FRIEND – 1864  Dickens’ last completed work.  The story centres on the effects of greed and the corruption that money brings.  The writing was slow and the monthly instalments were not selling well.  Dickens was beginning to feel the effects of illness that would plague him the rest of his life. “O Mr. Rokesmith, before you go, if you could but make me poor again! O! Make me poor again, Somebody, I beg and pray, or my heart will break if this goes on! Pa, dear, make me poor again and take me home! I was bad enough there, but I have been so much worse here. Don’t give me money, Mr. Boffin, I won’t have money. Keep it away from me…”
  18. 18. THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD – 1870  His last and never completed novel.  The story is about a murder mystery, in which Edwin Drood is supposedly murdered and suspicion is cast on his uncle.  It is set in the Cathedral town of Cloisterham.  Dickens left exactly half of the monthly instalments unfinished.  After a day of working on the completion of chapter 22, Dickens suffered a stroke on June 8, 1870 and died.  “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” remains a mystery to this day. “He was simply and staunchly true to his duty alike in the large case and in the small. So all true souls ever are. So every true soul ever was, ever is, and ever will be. There is nothing little to the really great in spirit.”
  19. 19. CHARLES DICKENS' LESS POPULAR NOVELS BORNABY RUDGE MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT  Published in weekly instalments Feb 1841 - Nov 1841.  When the novel was eventually published it wasn’t very well received.  John Forrester, a good friend of Dickens, said the novel was structurally flawed.  Norrie Espstein, author of “The Friendly Dickens”, states: “Barnaby Rudge must be the least-read — and least-attractive novel in the Dickens canon.”  Written after Dickens travelled to America in 1842.  The U.S. left a very unfavourable impression on Dickens.  He was horrified by slavery, appalled by the common use of spitting tobacco and indignant about his treatment by the press.  The overriding theme of “Martin Chuzzlewit” is selfishness.  The protagonist, Martin Chuzzlewit, is arrogant and oblivious to the feelings of others.
  20. 20. BIBLIOGRAPHY  http://www.biography.com/people/charles-dickens-9274087  http://www.charlesdickensinfo.com/novels/complete-works/  http://global.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/162141/Charles-Dickens  http://www.gradesaver.com/author/charles-dickens  http://charlesdickenspage.com/dombey.html  http://www.charlesdickens.co.uk/  http://www.dickensfellowship.org/dickens-fiction-writer  http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/30/david-copperfield-dickens- 100-best-novels  Charles Dickens -“Dombey and Son” – Chapter 61

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