Una serie di osservazioni generali (in lingua inglese) su Charles Dickens e i suoi romanzi, i suoi personaggi, l'ambientazione e i temi trattati. Lati positivi e negativi della poetica di Dickens (2 pagine formato doc)
The majority of Dickens’ novels deal with the degraded urban setting of English industrial town of the first half of the 19th century.
The most remarkable exception is Pickwick Papers, a picaresque novel where the protagonists move from one place to another by stage-coach, and see the last examples of the “merry” England of the 18th century, still untouched by industrialisation.
Another example is Martin Chuzzlewit, which is partly set in America.
Most of Dickens’ characters belong to the lower-middle class; he gave voice to their economic worries, their fear of social instability, their anguish about poverty, they small ambitions, with a sympathy that betrays his early sharing of the same experiences. When he creates characters of other social classes, in fact, his knowledge of their problem is less secure and more stereotyped.
Plots and Characterization
The Dickens’s plots had to comply the taste of his readers and the requirement of serialization.
His readers belonged to two categories. On the one hand , there were lower middle class readers who found their lives and problems mirrored by his novels. They enjoyed seeing themselves as the protagonist of stories that deals with experiences of their life, and they expected that the novels would have that happy ending they could rarely expect in real life.
On the other hand, there were well-off readers of the upper-middle classes, who was developing the philanthropy, a humanitarian feeling towards the less lucky majority. They accepted being moved by those sad stories, and the happy ending authorised their political choice to leave the society as it was.
The plots of Dickens’ novels were very complicated, according to serialization, that required sudden changes and unexpected revelations. Dickens often creates, only for the developing of the plot, a lot of minor strange characters, and makes extraordinary portraits of them.
The most frequently themes in Dickens’ novels are childhood and social criticism.
Children had a very important role in Dickens’ novels; he often describes the protagonist’s life from childhood to his maturity (for example, David Copperfield). Secondly, Dickens himself had undergone the misery and suffering because of Industrial Revolution. He had worked in a blacking factory, had accused his mother of having insisted on him working even when it was no longer necessary, and had had a father who had been shut in a debtors’ prison.
His children could be divided into two groups: in the first one, there are pathetic creatures, destroyed by life, as Little Nell, and in the second one there are miraculously rescued by somebody’s unexpected intervention, as Olive Twist or David Copperfield.
Children are very important also according to Dickens’ distorted or grotesque vision of life, because