In his novel Great Expectations, Dickens uses symbolism and imagery to develop the theme of guilt and corruption in order to explore the limitations of social class and the meaning of being a gentleman during the Victorian era. Dickens establishes the theme of corruption early on by forging a link between Pip’s actions and his feelings of guilt. At the beginning of the novel, Pip’s innocence is shown through his excessive feelings of guilt when he is forced to steal for the convict Magwitch (Dickens). By exposing Pip to crime and corruption at such a young age, Dickens seeks to highlight the path that leads to Pip’s lifelong entanglement with guilt. In addition, those around him treat Pip as if he has committed a crime and is deserving of punishment, which is demonstrated when Pip describes his clothing as “a kind of Reformatory,” which “on no account [lets him] have the free use of [his] limbs” (Dickens).
He may kindle empathy for the revolutionary peasants one moment and inspire feeling for the imprisoned aristocrats the next, making the book a more multi-sided work. Dickens uses imagery throughout the novel to manipulate the reader’s compassion in the peasants’ favor, in the nobles defense, and even for the book’s main villainess, Madame Defarge. With imagery revealing the poor straits and desperation of the peasant class of France, Dickens influences the reader to pity them. He writes, “The cloud settled on Saint Antoine, which a momentary gleam had driven from his sacred countenance, the darkness of it was heavy—cold, dirt, sickness, ignorance, want were the lords waiting on the saintly presence—nobles of great power all of them; but most especially the last” (Dickens 22). Through hunger, want, etc.
"Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression ever again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind." (385) This quote from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities illustrates Dickens' bias for the revolting class during the French Revolution. In the book, however, Dickens does vilify the violence that is inherent in this Revolution. He also puts his own slant on the way the Revolution occurs and who leads it. This bias could be attributed to who he was and who his audience was.
Chapter five was one ... ... middle of paper ... ...t the lower classes experience. Dickens’ satire and use of irony and humour throughout the novel describes the charitable institutions as places that breed corruption, inhumanity, and alienation. The treatment Oliver received is a prime example of this. In Dickens’ time society’s failure to recognize these problems destroyed the lives of many innocent children. Dickens highlights these problems extremely effectively throughout his novel using various literary techniques such as irony, satire and humour and also uses his characters to represent such corrupt institutions.
Throughout A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens approaches the historical subject of the French Revolution with a bit of confliction. Despite the fact he supports the revolutionary cause, he often points out the evils of the revolutionaries themselves. Dickens deeply sympathizes with the sufferings of the French peasantry and stresses their need for liberty. However, while he condemns this oppression, he also denounces the peasants’ strategies in overcoming it. In fighting malice with malice, the peasants produce no real revolution; instead, they only continue the violence that they themselves have suffered.
These examples, that are planted within the novel, relate to both the society in Dickens' writing and his reality. In order to properly portray the fraud taking place within his novels, Dickens' uses morality in his universe to compare to the reality of society. He repetitively references to the change of mind and soul for both the better and the worst. He speaks of the change of heart when poisoned by wealth, and he connects this disease to the balance of the rich and the poor. This is another major factor to novel, where the plot is surrounded by a social hierarchy that condemns the poor to a life of misery, and yet, condones any action that would normally be seen as immoral when it occurs in the aristocracy.
Dickens’ satire and use of irony and humour throughout the novel describes the charitable institutions as places that breed corruption, inhumanity, and alienation. The treatment Oliver received is a prime example of this. In Dickens’ time society’s failure to recognize these problems destroyed the lives of many innocent children. Dickens highlights these problems extremely effectively throughout his novel using various literary techniques such as irony, satire and humour and also uses his characters to represent such corrupt institutions. By exploring the problems of the past, perhaps we will be more capable of identifying the downfalls that may arise in the institutions of our time.
This book includes stark criticisms of many aspects of Victorian society such as child labor and class structure. He criticizes class structure by portraying other characters’ cruelty and corruption as an impediment from Copperfield’s discovery from himself. Dickens depicts an evil character as someone who is a result of their experiences such as James Steerforth or Uriah Heep or as someone who is inherently evil such as Mr. Murdstone. Also, Dickens is able to create a contrast between the evil of these characters and the warmth and goodness characterizing the people on Copperfield’s side. By comparing their characters, Dickens further emphasizes the difference between the two sides and “provides a forum for Dickens's views of the inherent nature of evil as well as a critique of a society that enables and shapes this darker side of humanity”(Miline, 102).
The French Revolution is a revolt of oppressed peasants against the aristocracy of France in 1789. In A Tale of Two Cities, written by Charles Dickens, he uses several pictures to help capture the essence of the appalling things taking place during this revolt. Dickens introduces the reader to several metaphors that he then fosters into symbols of important themes throughout the book. His creative use of physical objects, as well as the people, or the motive behind them gives the reader insight into what it would be like to be present during that time. The grindstone, knitting, and La Guillotine are all symbols created by Dickens to help illustrate the shocking truth of the French Revolution, man’s inhumanity towards man.
The poem Incidents upon Salisbury Plain (otherwise known as Guilt and Sorrow) is a prime example of Wordsworth’s political visions of revolution for social equality, being weaved into his poetry. In the poem, Wordsworth writes of a society wrought with war and the misery experienced by a vagrant woman and wandering soldier. The poem captures a sense of despair, loneliness and disillusionment - no doubt a poetic representation of how it felt to live in a time of civil unrest. It could be said that the wanderer is comparable to the lower class, displaced without care, constantly searching for a sense of belonging. Wordsworth effectively exposes the isolation and despondency of the working class in the sense of dejection portrayed by the protagonists.