Charles Dickens Aimed His Books At Criticizing America
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Charles Dickens Aimed His Books at Criticizing America
Europe in the 1800s was beginning to develop a deep cultural sense for literature. Romanticism and Romantic novels were quickly becoming popular, and authors such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from Germany and poets such as James Macpherson from England, were rapidly becoming icons of their nations, as well as the beginners of influential and opinionated novel writing. Charles Dickens was, and still is, an extremely renowned English Romantic writer, generally considered to be one of the greatest of the Victorian period. He has written almost fifty pieces, of which many books we still hear about today: A Christmas Carol, The Pitwick Papers, American Notes, and Great Expectations – amongst another fourteen novels, five novellas, many poems and plays, and illustrations. However, one of his most famous and critical works is his story of Martin Chuzzlewit. Being Americans, although we may respect and enjoy many of Dickens’ books and novels, we yet have a reason to dislike him: the tale of Martin Chuzzlewit, along with Hard Times, and American notes were directly aimed at criticizing and ‘trashing’ America. Through these books, Dickens’ purposely satirized and disparaged our American lifestyle.
Charles Dickens was born in Portsea, Hampshire, in 1812. In 1814 Dickens moved to London, and then to Chatham, where he received some education. In 1824, at the age of twelve, Dickens was sent to work for some months at a blacking factory at the Hungerford Market, London, while his father, John Dickens, was in Marshalea Debtor's Prison. In the years 1824-27 Dickens studied at Wellington House Academy, London, and at Mr. Dawson's school in 1827. From 1827 to 1828 he was...
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...ntly almost inexistent in sophisticated England – he got these ideas from events in his stay in America. The book was an obviously disturbing portrayal of a morally corrupt American society.
When Charles Dickens was in America, the social norms and values he was raised with clashed with everything he observed in the Americans lifestyles. He was taken off balance at the amount of freedom people had when it came to etiquette and proper behavior. Furthermore, he was completely disgusted and appalled by even the day-to-day activities such as the way people ate, spoke, and conducted themselves in public. He clearly and strongly expressed this revulsion in his books Martin Chuzzlewit, Hard Times, and American Notes. He was quick to judge, and did not take time to simply appreciate the fact that us Americans lived a different culture – equally worthy of respect.