Analysis Of Lucie Manette By Charles Dickens

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The portrayal of women throughout the history of literature has changed greatly over the years. The once elegant, quiet, and helpless damsels in distress has changed into strong independent women who try to speak their mind and fight for themselves, just as any male would. More modern writers try to weave many of these modern ideals of women with all its complexity into cohesive, interesting and even awe-inspiring heroines both on film and in novels. And many times, these same ideals of intelligence, strength, and complexity are even implemented in villainous female characters. However, not all writers would feel this way about modern female characters. Famous writers such as Charles Dickens had a different set of ideals for women that…show more content…
Throughout his many works, Dickens has had several "good" female heroines and they are seem to fit a distinct mould. They oftentimes appear to be "truly virtuous, patient, domestic women...mostly in the home, doing domestic things and supporting her husband" (Scheckner 270-272). Many of these ideals can be seen in the women of Dickens ' life, such as Maria Beadnell, Mary Hogarth, and Ellen "Nelly" Ternan. The first of the three women was the daughter of a banker that Dickens became obsessed with. She did not return his sentiments and neither did her parents upon learning his father was a debtor (Ackroyd). Dickens appears to enjoy women that are put on such a high pedestal that they are unobtainable (Fox par. 3), which was exactly what Maria was for him. She was young, she was beautiful, and she was almost exactly paralleled into the character of Lucie. Charles Darnay is said to be Charles Dickens ' self-insert into the novel and it is quite apparently shown in the character 's relationship with Lucie. Darnay in the novel becomes rather attached to Lucie and even comes to her father Dr. Manette to tell him about his affection (Dickens 83). Like in the case with Maria’s father, Dr. Manette was hesitant upon hearing who Darnay 's father was, an Evremonde. But unlike reality, Darnay is actually able to marry Lucie (Dickens 117). This paralleling of reality into his novel is able to show the…show more content…
She is said to have been "just seventeen" (or eighteen depending on the source) when she collapsed on the stairs and died in Dickens ' arms. Dickens ' is said to have went through intense grief, cutting off locks of her hair to keep; and keeping Mary 's clothes which he would take out at times to stroke, wishing he was buried next to her (Fox par. 6). Youth appears to be a common thread that links many of the women Dickens admired. But in the case of Mary, Dickens shows a love of very lovely, innocent, and virginal young women (Fox par. 5) or in other words, "a living doll" (Fox par. 17). This can be seen in the character of Lucie, who is very young when she is first introduced into the novel, and is commonly described as being "a golden-haired doll" (Dickens 56). Dickens ' female heroines are often granted more "passive, silent, marginal figures" within his work, and Lucie is an example of one (Robson par. 2). These trait are also seen in Mary Hogarth who is described as “gentle and selfless” (Simkin par. 6). However, even though many of these characteristics fit Mary Hogarth, they on a whole described the Victorian ideal of women of youthful, innocent, virginal women (Pool 188-189). By giving Lucie characteristics of his beloved sister-in-law Mary, Dickens is able to convey many of the Victorian ideals of women in his
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