Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Victorian Age: riassunto

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Riassunto in inglese della vita di Charles Dickens, stile e temi, del suo romanzo Oliver Twist e il suo contesto storico (Victorian Age) (5 pagine formato doc)


Charles Dickens.

Dickens was born in Portsmouth, in 1812. He had an unhappy childhood, because his father went in prison for debt when he was young and he had to work in a factory when he was 12. These days of sufferings were to inspire much of the content of his novel much of the content of his novel. When he realized that he had a talent for writing, he taught himself short and became a newspaper reporter when he was 16 with the nickname of “Boz”(“Sketches by Boz”, where he wrote about English people and their defects).  
He is considered the “most Victorian writer” because of the theme of his novels.
In fact his novels have the same structure: there is a child poor or orphan forced to work in a workhouse; one day he meet a noble man or a familiar who make him study and make him have a life of success.  
His autobiographical novels are Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Little Dorrit; their protagonist all became the symbols of an exploited childhood confronted with the grim and bitter realities of slums and factories. Other work includes Bleak House, Hard times and Great Expectations, dealing with social issues, such as the conditions of the poor and the working class in general. These entire novels gave him wealth and fame. He also had a busy life as a magazine editor. He spent his last years travelling round giving readings of his own work.
In the novels “David Copperfield” and “Oliver Twist”, Dickens attacks one or more social evils: debtor’s prisons, workhouses, repressive education, capital punishment and conformism masked by religion and justice. In all these novels, the greatest victims are the children either individually or in groups, often ill-treated, exploited in the hardest jobs (mining, textile industry), starved or beaten to death. Another important topic is his criticism of the top role of money in the Victorian materialistic society.

Charles Dickens: biografia breve


Features. Limitation of Dickens:
•    Lack of organic unity (that’s natural because his works were published in serial forms);
•    Lack of real psychological insight;
•    Excessive pathos and sentimentalism;
•    Exaggerated comic scenes, which become grotesque.
A didactic aim
The novelist's ability lay both in making his readers love his children, and putting them forward as models of the way people ought to behave to one another. This didactic stance was very effective, since the result was that the more educated, the wealthier classes throughout England acquired a knowledge of their poorer neighbours of which many were previously almost ignorant.
Style of Dickens: His language is resourceful, full of analogies, short sentences that illuminate the characters, outrageous. He had a natural sense of humour that has kept alive the characters of his novels up to the present time. Powerful imagination; His characters cover a wide range of people; He holds the reader’s attention; His style is fluent and effective; His occasional use of symbolism.
Charles Dickens is the symbol of the deep contradictions typical of the Victorian Age and embodies what was both positive and negative in it. He condemned the rigidity of the Victorian morality but he was imbued with it: he denounced the evils of his society but he was not able to propose radical solutions for them.
He identifies the origin of social evils in man’s hypocrisy, lack of love and greed for money. All Dickens’s novels were published in serial form and editors imposed a censorship on the writers.
This type of publication became very popular because it provided to buy fiction at a very low price. The reading public increased, including the low middle class. His novels were often pervaded by too much sentimentalism, sensationalism and melodrama.
The restrictions imposed by popular tastes and exigencies resulted in a lack of balance in the plots of many of his novels.
Dickens’s novels are also characterised by an episodic structure. In the end good and justice were triumph: his ideas of justice was idealised. The narrator is usually third person and omniscient. Dickens’s style is clear, vivid and effective: journalistic.

Oliver Twist: riassunto in inglese


Oliver Twist. Oliver Twist is a child of unknown parents, born in a workhouse, where he leads a miserable existence under the tyranny of Bumble.
He runs away to London and meets a boy dressed as a man, the Artful Dodger, who takes him to the old Jew, a teacher of theft’s art. Oliver is caught to the police but he is acquitted. He is taken home by Mr Brownlow who notice the likeness between Oliver and the portrait of a young man in his house. A mysterious figure, Monks wants to know all about Oliver. He reveals that he is Oliver’s brother. His father was a friend of Mr Brownlow. Oliver is adopted by Mr Brownlow and begins a new life.

Età vittoriana e Charles Dickens: riassunto


VICTORAN AGE - When King William IV died in 1837, he was succeeded by his niece Victoria, who was only 18. She became soon very popular because of her strong sense of duty and her simplicity. The constitution under Queen Victoria did not differ from the one we know today. Her inexperience facilitated the British two-party system. The reign was politically administered by a series of great Prime Ministers: Peel and Disraeli among the Tories (Conservatives), Palmerston and Gladstone among the Whigs (Liberals).