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Fighting Society: Charles Dickens

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The beginning of the Nineteenth Century yielded many technological advances that took their toll on the world. Great Britain’s economy began to thrive with these advances that led to efficient production lines, railways, and, most importantly, the ability to make better technology. Though at the time these advances seemed to improve many aspects of daily life, Charles Dickens only saw the negative effects that this new way of life imposed upon unsuspecting families. As a victim of the Industrial Revolution, which left many of the working class, including his own family, in a horrible state of living, Dickens grew up in a wretched environment brought on by an advancing society. 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’s entire writing career was devoted to fighting society’s oppressive treatment of the lower class by applying the Christmas theory of charity to everyday life.

Dickens’s foundation for his battle with society began at a very young age. As a child, Dickens became immersed in the harassment that accomp...

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...Christmas.” Readings on Charles Dickens. Ed. Bruno Leone, et al. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. 82-85. Print. Literary Companion Series.

Johnson, Edgar. “Preface.” Charles Dickens His Tragedy and Triumph. Ed. Edgar Johnson. Vol. 1. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc., 1952. VII-X. Print. 2 vols.

Schlicke, Paul, ed. Oxford Reader’s Companion to Dickens. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. “101-3+281-86+315”. Print.

“The Life and Times of Charles Dickens.” Cambridge Companion to Charles Dickens. Ed. John O. Jordan. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 1-15. Print.

Wagenknecht, Edward. “Charles Dickens.” Short Story Criticism. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Rpt. of “’Dickens at Work: The Chimes’ in Dickens and the Scandalmongers: Essays in Criticism .” Univeristy of Oklahoma Press Feb. 1965: 50-70. Literature Criticism Online. Web. 30 Jan. 2010.
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