Born February 7, 1812, to John Dickens, a clerk in the Navy Pay Office, and his wife Elizabeth, Charles spent his earliest years in the English seaport town of Portsmouth. The first years of his life were idyllic enough, alt... ... middle of paper ... ... safe way. He did not have to confront the people and events that shaped him directly, he could do it through characters such as Pip. He was well-acquainted with the themes that run throughout the novel because he experienced them in his own life. His first-hand knowledge of such feelings as guilt, betrayal and personal redemption added an authenticity to his fiction that would be difficult for authors without such a history to duplicate.
Creating Characters With Charles Dickens. University Park, PA: Penn State UP, 1991. Andrews, Michael. Dickens and the Grown-Up Child. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 1994.
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Biographical Summary Charles Dickens is one of the most influential writers in history and was “born in Landport, now part of Portsmouth, on February 7th, 1812”(Priestly 5). Despite being the successful writer that he was in life, Dickens had very humble beginnings and because his Father, John Huffman Dickens, “lacked the money to support his family adequetly” , Dickens lived in poverty through out most of his childhood (Collins). Matters only got worse, however, when Dickens’s Father had to “spen[d] time in prison for debt” causing Dickens to have to “work in a London factory pasting labels on bottles of shoe polish” (Collins). It was a horrible experience for him, but it also helped him to no doubt feel pity for the poor, which is prominent in his novel Oliver Twist with his sympathizing with the down trod characters in their sad conditions and the mocking of the people and rules that put them there. It should also be noted that in Oliver Twist most of the poor characters that the reader is supposed to sympathize with are young boys, such as the character Oliver Twist and young Dick, which demonstrates how most experiences and events that Dickens characters go through are very similar to his own, making his writing seem more real and genuine at times.
His early life led to his ambitions of escaping the poverty that gripped his family. His talent for writing proved to be his escape, and he quickly became “a titan of literature.” Dickens constantly used details from his own life to create characters and settings. It is said that “Dickens was himself a Dickens character, bursting with an inordinate and fantastic vitality” (Johnson VII). In his two stories, “The Chimes” and “Going into Society”, Dickens pulls pictures from his past to give the reader a vivid view of the gloomy reality that occurred in everyday life for the working class. As his main principle in helping the poor, Dickens often included the Christmas theory in his works, which he uses to combat Individualism in England’s society.
Charles Dickens is among some of the great fiction authors of the Victorian era. He was more than just a writer nevertheless; he inspired changes throughout the world with the use of writing. For a man to come from his childhood scenario to where he developed could be seen as amazing, but really his struggles are the blessings for his success. Charles Dickens was inspired by the struggles of the poor and the oppressed, his writing caused societal changes, and he used fictional people and events to represent the real world. Subtopic 1 During the Victorian Era in Britain there was a severe gap between the rich and the poor.