English 4, P.4
May 21, 2010
Writers of Era
Many people could write poems and stories that have meaning, but it takes a good
writer to demonstrate they are a product of their time. Charles Dickens and W.H. Auden
are both writers who demonstrate this with their stories and poems. Both of these
individuals have the values to demonstrate they can write about things that affected them
in their life and are able to show us that they are products of their time. Their poems and
stories are based mostly on time and how we should learn to appreciate life, because time
could end anytime and we see the end of our lives. These authors tell us to think about
the present instead of the past or future therefore we will be able to see the world as
others see it.
Charles Dickens writings were based mostly on his childhood memories and of
his photographic memory of the people and events that he would use in his writing. When
he was a child his father’s economic status affected him and these experiences of the
newly industrialized society played a major role is his writings. In The Signalman,
Dickens states that, “Ah! it was a dreadful time, sir. I never left off calling to him.”
(Dickens 748) The signalman’s death was a mistake which made it an unfortunate event
in the story. This can relate to how he may have been feeling after his father was put in
jail. We get the idea that as a child he felt terrible about his father’s economic status and
how it affected him in life.
W.H. Auden was influenced by his experiences in the political and economic
unrest that took place in Berlin that became one of his central subjects. He one day saw
two lovers in school and made him realize they had infinite value to him and this
influenced him to one day return to Anglican Church. In his poem As I Walked Out One
Evening, Auden states, “Love has no ending.”(Auden 8) This gives us the idea that no
matter how many years have passed love will always remain the same. When Auden first
saw the lovers at the school he must have realized that love was an infinite emotion that
would be felt for the rest of time.
Both of these writers experienced events that made an impact on their writings.
For example, Dickens was influenced by his father’s economic status and how he
struggled as a child. Auden saw two lovers and realized that had value that could never
end. These writers are similar because of the events they experienced helped them to
write their stories and poems. They have similar writings in which they express how time
affects life and how we should cherish the time we have left. These two writers truly
show us how they are products of their time through their writings and how they are able
to express their feelings for what time really means and how we should appreciate life.