Charles Dickens Research

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

Dickens was propelled to accomplish success from his days as a child. Besides not much of proper education, he trained himself, toiled tirelessly at all that he did and rose to recognition as a writer in his twenties. His legacy was using his novels to uncover a world of destitution and inconceivable struggles. His clear depictions of the life lived by street children in the city, workhouses and Yorkshire boarding schools resulted into numerous reforms. His efforts in describing the state of corruption in politics and justice system placed Victorian society under extreme cross examination. Apart from being the original reknown urban author in England, Charles was also one of the greatest social critics. In his social criticism, he tapped fiction to effectively critique the societal, economic and maxim exploitation in the Victorian era.

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He depicted sympathy towards the under-privileged persons who lived in the disadvantaged segments of the English society, a social commitment that rose from his traumatic childhood experiences. In his writings, Dickens emphasized the importance of social commitment. In one of his writings to a friend, Wilkie Collins, he emphasizes that what happens shows that people cannot shut out the world; that they are in it to be of it and that it is fallacy for one to think of severing themselves from the world. In contrast to Pickwick, Oliver Twist depicted England as “two states”: the wealthy and advantaged versus the destitute residing in cruel circumstances of dispossession. Dickens succeeded in enlightening the Victorian public opinion about the situations of the poor.

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He uncovered convincingly the illness, filth, disease, deterioration, and the human desolation of a contemporary developed country. Although the early situation of England addressed changes into an emotionally moral tale, Oliver Twist is a significant appearance of Victorian social integrity. In another novel, Nicholas Nickleby, the theme of child mishandling in the context of Victorian schooling system is manifested. Children sent to these schools were apparently wanted out of the way by their guardians. They were, consequently, often deprived of the vocational breaks. The students were given inadequate food. Even when given food, habitually, the food was unhygienic. Children in these schools were bullied and forced to live in extremely poor conditions. The novel “Oliver Twist” was a huge success. Its twisting storyline and endearing characters lead to its success.

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The novel caused a public uproar about situations in workhouses. Although it may not have caused an instant and noticeable change to the conditions, it opened the eyes of those who were fortunate. It made them understand the agony and efforts that the less fortunate had to undergo to survive. There would be other children who would come because they had no one to care for them. These children had to work in harsh situations with inadequate food and less food. Many were deceased long before they reached maturity. Survivors were often given harsh jobs in order to maintain their survival. Dickens was angered by the conditions. The system was biased against children, who desired only to survive but had no other alternative except to steal.

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In the novel Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens wanted the world to see how they struggled. It is most strongly emphasized in the book where starving, young Oliver was saved by a group that taught young children to steal. Dickens wanted to show that Oliver did not wish to steal. But his options were limited. Charles Dickens is also famed in medicine for his character depictions. In his novel “The Pickwick Papers” a character named Joe, was described as a fat boy who fell asleep at strange times. Until today, sleep disorders like those demonstrated by Joe are still named the “Pickwickian syndrome”. The symptoms mentioned showed that the Joe had real sleep disorder. The disorder, however, was not known until over a hundred years after his time.

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He would organize public readings with much reduced pricing so anybody interested in his novels could be allowed to do so. He worked with ragged schools to assist with education and also aided in arranging medical care slum dwellers. He helped found Urania Cottage; a home for homeless and abused women. In the cottage, women were transformed and offered education. Many afforded to move to new locations to begin new lives after they got out. Additionally, for the first time inhabitants began attempting to save London from the oozing filth and horrible hygiene that saturated it everywhere. Conclusion Charles Dickens had much influence during his time and even today. Institutions that assist helpless individuals sprouted due to his influence, he enlighten people around him to see the world from his point of view and this inspired them to assist the destitute.

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