John’s overwhelming addiction to gambling resulted in the loss of household income and left his family in poverty (Merriman 1). In 1824 he was arrested for debt, and imprisoned at the Marshalsea Prison (Haines 6). Throughout his childhood, Dickens was always stable and happy (Merriman 1). He attended Giles Academy in Chatham for about one year. Later, he attended the Wellington House Academy in London.
He spent most of his childhood in London, the setting for many of his novels. He lived in a middle-classed family that, but his father was incapable of managing his own finances. Dickens started school at the age of nine, but his education was interrupted when his father was imprisoned for debt in 1824. He was then forced to work at Warren’s Blacking Factory, a shoe-polish factory, to support himself. His experiences of trying to survive in the slums of England haunted him all of his life, and he would later devote many of his books to the retelling of his experiences.
Still unable to satisfy his creditors, John Dickens was arrested and sent to Marshalsea Prison. At age 12, Charles found work at Warren's Blacking Factory, where he was paid six shillings a week wrapping shoeblack bottles. The brief time that he worked at the Blacking Factory haunted him all of his life. He spoke of it only to his wife and to his closest friend, John Forster. The rough time he had there would show up in his stories David Copperfield and in Great Expectations.
When Dickens was twelve, his father, John Dickens, was sent to jail because of all his debts. Because his father was no longer there to support his family, Dickens had to drop out of school and begin work at a boot-blacking factory. Having said goodbye to his childhood at such a young age, he felt betrayed by adults he trusted. This would become a theme that reappears in many of his works (“Charles Dickens” 1). According to bio.com, upon his father’s return, Dickens was able to go back to school.
Dickens went to William Giles’ school in Chatham, Kent, for approximately one year before his father’s money habits caught up with him. Dickens’ father was sent to prison for debt in 1824, when Dickens’ was just twelve years old. Following his father’s imprisonment, Dickens’ had to drop out of school to work at a boot-blacking factory along the River of Thames. He earned 6 shillings a week, which is a dollar and forty-four cents in US money. It was the best he could do to help support his family.
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.
A few weeks after he started working, his father, mother, and siblings were put into debtor’s prison. Dickens lived alone and worked in the factory for a few more months. He experienced orphan hood, and the terrible conditions of being an orphan and working in the factories haunted him. After inheriting some money, Dickens returned to school and his father was released from prison. Dickens became a journalist and grew disillusioned with law makers attempts to alleviate the social conditions of the Industrial Revolution.
His name is Fagin. Mr. Fagin also is the name of a man who helped Dickens in the blacking factory during his childhood. Although the names are the same, these two Fagin men are different. In the novel, Fagin is seen as a type of villain, whereas in the shoe-shine factory, Fagin helped and taught Charles his everyday work. Dickens’ time spent at the blacking factory was the worst time of his entire life.