Charles Dickens' Hard Times and David Lodge's Nice Work

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Charles Dickens' Hard Times and David Lodge's Nice Work

----“Fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the material aspect of the town;

fact, fact, fact everywhere in the immaterial.” – Charles Dickens

In the early 1851, London staged the Great Exhibition to show the

world, the achievements and inventions of the Industrial Revolution.

Many people believed that this showed how much better, safer and

healthier Britain was than its neighbours in Europe. People living in

mansions amid lawns and fountains, with horse drawn carriages

certainly felt that life couldn’t be better. However behind the

publicity and the royal occasions there was another England, not so

glorious. Benjamin Disraeli wrote that Britain was really “two

nations”, Dickens wanted to show his readers what was behind the

glittering façade of Victorian industry. He wanted to show his readers

the factual monotony behind the sulky blotch towns of industrial


As the essay title suggests, both Lodge and Dickens have portrayed

their format of an industrial landscape. Both authors’ coddle in a

crestfallen environment of the industrial world: one at the height of

a revolution, the other at the height of a decline. Dickens is keen to

depict his Victorian contemporary world of Coketown in an essentially

satirical context. It is emblemed with certain thematic issues

including religion, the nature of employment and education, which

follow course throughout the book. This surreal caricature of the

Victorian landscape contrasts with Lodge’s realistically styled piece.

Lodge’s passage, which holds a fictional veil over the names of

“Rummidge and the Dark Country”, is clearly intended to represent

Birmingham and the Black Country.

In Hard Times it ca...

... middle of paper ...

...o hold no target. In his account he mainly adopts

an educational style prose to mirror the thoughts of his subject Vic

Wilcox whilst also using a slightly more creative passage towards the

end of the description to reveal political opinion and sentiment.

Overall it is credible to say that the sources examined are quite

detached in similarity. This maybe due to the large disparity of time

between time periods. In view of success I think though Lodge’s modern

style of writing should be recognized as playing games with the

reader, I judge that the tone is overtly mundane and dreary. It is

impossible to give a comprehensive argument on Lodge’s point of view

due to his modern isolated style from the writing. Dickens is

appealingly aggressive, motivating and quite favourably figurative. He

leaves his readers without a shadow of a doubt of whom he is


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