Dickens – Social Conditions Conveyed By 19Th Century Essay, Research Paper
Describe how social conditions were conveyed by any 19th Century Author.
Charles (John Huffam) *censored*ens born at Portsea near Portsmouth on 7th February 1812.
Dickens had some schooling, but his real education was the streets of London. All the best scenes in his later novels deal with London Characters.
Dickens appealed to social consciousness to overcome social misery. His immense popularity gave importance to his attacks on the abuses of the law – courts and schools who object was not the education of the children but the enrichment of the proprietors
was sweeping the country.. It was the Industrial Revolution.
England witnessed riots. Workers felt their jobs were threatened by the widening introduction of machinery. Groups of unemployed men set about destroying machines and in their way created havoc and chaos.
The movement was called the Luddite movement..
In Victorian times, there was an alarming contrast between rich and poor. whilst the owners of the industries were prosperous – the workers were poorly fed and poorly housed. Their working conditions, whether in factories or mines, were appalling. even women and children could be expected to work up to fifteen hours a day, for six days a week.
Dickens, the man who many people look upon as the greatest English novelist once worked as a poor boy pasting labels on the tins of blacking. Charles never forgot this miserable and lonely time. But the experiences made him determined to succeed in life.
He was a man of the people, writing for the people. His father was a shiftless admiralty clerk and in his youth, *censored*ens experienced the direct effects of poverty, including a resident in a debtor’s prison.
His father was often in debt and young Charles used to visit his parents in marshalsea Prison. we read about life in such prisons in one of his books, Little dorritt – imprisonment for debt, and in Pickwick Papers, the book that first brought fame to Dickens.
Dickens through his own personal experiences in children re created through the character “Oliver Twist the workhouse orphan. Such theme was prompted because of the adverse effect ot the poor law in Victorian England
In all of literature it would be hard to find a more endearing hero than the workhouse orphan -Oliver Twist.
Aided only by courage and his own warm personality, he battled against drudgery, misery, exploitation – and won. His adventures in 19th Century London – its slums, its murky back alleys, its dens of crime teeming with unscrupulous villains – are as vivid and exciting today as when they first fixed the imagination of Victorian England.
Dickens created the social climate with enormous intensity from his own personal experiences of the scene at that time.
Qoute: Chapter 1;.
…Oliver twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months…wild with hunger…he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy who slept next to him…He rose from his table” Please sir, I want some more….
Dickens portrays the life of the homeless child on the streets of London. Struggling for survival. Begging and stealing..
In Nicholas Nickelby, he told of schools where boys were ill treated and half starved, and his account of Dotherboys Hall helped to close such many schools., the dehumanizing effect of business ethics’ Dombey & Son, the outdated legal system ‘Dombey & Son”
“Bleak House’ is conferred by many leading critics to be one of Dickens’ finest achievements, It is a story love and inheritance, and its graphic depiction of the realities and costs of High Court legal actions – drawn from the authors personal knowledge and experience *censored*ens seeks to portray the everyday reality of the London of the early to mid nineteenth century.
Industrialism ‘ hard Times’ Imprisonment for debt”Little Dorritt and Class Distinction ‘ Great expectations
! n 1854 when hard Times was written, trade unions had only been legal for thirty years. There was still a strong bias against the workers in the laws governing them. Mass union action was largely impossible, and organized trade unions belonged to skilled trades only.
To gain first hand knowledge of union activities amongst the cotton workers of Preston ( The Coketown of Hard times) Dickens traveled to the Lancashire town. There has been a strike there lasting several weeks.
Dickens attacks the town environment in the novel the depiction of Coketown with its awful pollution, ‘Serpents of smoke’ ‘a town of unnatural red and black’, the river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye’. These similar effects *censored*ens repeats often throughout the novel, Just as he does in many other of his works.
The classic portrayal of Coketown which we find in ‘The Key note chapter is rein forced later in ‘ Stephen Blackpool’ where Dickens presents us with a vivid picture: Nature was as strongly bricked out as the killing airs and gasses were bricked in. at the heart of the Labyrinth of narrow courts upon courts, and close streets upon streets…and the whole an unnatural family, shouldering, and trampling, and pressing one another to death.
People lived in back to back houses, lacking ventilation and indoor sanitation.coketown ‘had a black canal in it, and a river ran purple with ill smelling dye,
it was inhabited with people…who went in and out at the same hours..to o the same work, and to whom everyday was the same as yesterday and tomorrow.In chapter 5 of Hard Times’ we can see the poverty and squalor. as said while the owners of the industries were prosperous- Mr. Bounderby in Hard Times is a classic example-the workers were poorly fed and poorly housed. Their working conditions, whether in factories or mines. The monotony and horror of the women and child there is seen here.
Throughout hard Times Dickens refers to the workers as ‘Hands’, men and women who are only important to their masters because they can mange machines. Dickens says they have lost any sense of the importance and value of the individual.:
So many hundred hands in this Mill, so many hundred horse steam power.,It is known, to the force of a single pound weight…….Chapter 11
The evil of the education system is one that *censored*ens focuses on a great deal – it is shown through the physical description and manner of Gradgrind, through the choice of name Choakumchild, through the insistence on lack of imagination in school and life.
Dickens does concentrate a lot on the ugly and the gross in Hard Times. It is basically an unhappy study of the evils that surround people as a result of industrialization and injustice.
The setting in ” great expectations” is a major element of that novel.
The time in which *censored*ens wrote was a time of great social climate distress for many, the poor the orphaned, those in the clutches of the law courts and those guilty of crimes. The social climate has a particular powerful influence on the character ” pips” life.
In wishing to become ‘a gentleman’, Pip brings into close focus the social attitudes of his (and Dickens) world. His movement through this world exposes the social climate of the time.
Great expectations is rich in physical settings, from the blacksmith’s cottage where Pip grew up, to the eccentricities of Satis House where Pip learned to despise his simple background, the grim despair of Newgate prison, dominating all others are the marshes, often bleak and savage raw, and only sometimes gentle and tranquil.
‘The Tale of Two cities – the two cities being London and Paris.at the time of the French revolution.
It was a frightening place where young and old alike ran wildly through the streets in the name of freedom.
Tales of two cities is a story of An old man, Dr Manette, is imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years because he has information which would lead to the exposure of two members of a noble family- the Marquis St. Evremonde and his twin brother, the younger marquis.
Dr Anette is released just before the outbreak of the revolution and goes to England to join his daughter, Lucia – the son of the younger Marquis St. Evremonde, living in England renounced his title and has taken the name of Charles Darnay.. He marry’s Lucia but returns to France on the outbreak of the revolution to bring about the release of Old Faithful servant.
darney is arrested, he is an aristocrat and an enemy of the republic the St. Evremonde family were extremely cruel to their servants and people of the land. darney is sentenced to death
Charles Dickens. Sydney Carton character is guillotined, his love for lucie and his close resemblance to Darney he took his life for Darneys to be spared
*censored*ens portrays the social climate between London and Paris …the death carts rumble, hollow and harsh. Six tumbrels carry the day’s wine to la Guillotine..some seated with drooping heads, are sunk into silent despair .
The reason for Sydney Carton’s death is the dramatic point of the whole story with such famous words written:.
‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done, it is a far better rest that I go to than I have ever known”
Dickens had personal experiences of childhood abuse, and because he wanted to make the world a better place for the poor and the weak and the lonely, his novels are full of graphic descriptions of these people and their lives. His novels are social commentaries on certain aspects of life in England