Творчество Ч. Диккенса: проблема художественного метода
The period of class struggle in England was mirrored in the literature by the appearance of a new trend – critical realism. The critical realists introduced new characters to the literature: they described the working class and expressed deep sympathy for them. The writers used the novel as a means of depicting the world in a realistic way.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Deep motivation for the character: social, psychological
Interest in the psychology
No romantic escapism
Interest in the contemporary period, most novels take place in England
More traditional Enlightenment novel, moralistic and didactic approach, typical types given in the book, happy endings. Romanticism: the feeling of nature, an interest to the feelings of people
1 period 1833-1841
Sketches by Boz 1833-1836,
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club 1837. It presents a gallery of wonderful types: they seem to be extremely alive; he managed to put life into caricature. Good people, villains, people who are not remarkable for anything. They also represent feelings.
“Oliver Twist” 1838
Oliver Twist was written as a protest against Poor Low. The poor low didn’t allow homeless people to live in the streets. Dickens put all his hopes in the good qualities of human nature.
Nickolas Nickleby 1839
The Old Curiosity Shop 1841
This period can be called optimistic. Dickens shows us the simple-minded characters (Pickwick) who suffer a lot when come in contact with real life. They are naïve and thus are cheated by the world. But they remain true to their principle of honour. A lot of comic situations, humour. Describes different social phenomena – the elections, the court, the prison, also pension for the old etc. Finally virtue conquers evil. He continues to develop his ideas of good literature – something that makes people better. These novels are like a fairy-tale because of happy end.
2 period 1842 – 1848
American Notes (1842) – Dickens worked abroad – enjoyed American wish to work, he liked the idea of constitution and democracy.
The Christmas Books (1843-1848) – Christmas Carol – an ideal Christmas – comfort, fire, family, roast goose.
Dombey and Son (1846 - 1848) – a heir of the firm, they decides the destiny of poor people. marriage for money – Edith. Weak son. A nurse takes him to poor houses. Money will do everything. Why didn’t money save my mother?
He criticized the power of money for evil, the crimes from bourgeois system. Optimism disappears. False morality, ideas of power of money form the basis of the novel.
3 period – He is disappointed of his romantic illusions of youth. He breaks general plot of the fairy-tales, works are pessimistic, tragic.
David Copperfield (1850) – autobiographical novel, describes child labour and the awful cruelty children suffered when at school or work.
Bleak house (1853) – a satire, against the Court of Chancery (civil court of justice)
Hard Times (1854) against capitalism and industrial way of life
Little Dorrit (1857) – prison where people are put for debt.
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) – about French revolution
“Great Expectations” 1861 – artificiality (Havishem) and real life. Magvich, Estella. Joe, Biddy, 2 endings.
“Our mutual friend”
Dickens has his own style – it is a combination of romanticism and realism. It is the influence of Enlightenment, evil is punished. The influence of sentimentalism – he doesn’t appeal to reason, but to our feelings. Melodramatic situations, farce.
Traces of romanticism: mysterious elements, romantic evil, mystery of birth, heritage, positive and negative characters are opposed, black villains, the conflict is sharpened. Also combination of comic and tragic.
A child is a bearer of natural purity, people should save a child.
Fairy-tales – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow Queen. Aim is to find home. It is a quest, Christmas philosophy.
Oliver Twist 1838
Pick-pocket – вор-карманник, beadle, bribe – взятка, butler – дворецкий
Critics of the middle class. Anyone who could not support himself or herself was considered an immoral, evil person.
The Failure of Charity. The law - the poor could only receive government assistance if they moved into government workhouses. Though he describes humorous moment – feeding а horse with air. Besides charity boys are opposed to workhouse boys.
The Folly of Individualism
Nancy turns against Monks, Charley Bates turns against Sikes, and Monks turns against Mrs. Corney. Fagin’s unstable family, held together only by the self-interest of its members, is juxtaposed to the little society formed by Oliver, Brownlow, Rose Maylie, who is bound together not by concerns of self-interest but by “strong affection and humanity of heart”.
The Countryside Idealized
All the injustices and privations suffered by the poor in Oliver Twist occur in cities—either the great city of London or the provincial city where Oliver is born. When the Maylies take Oliver to the countryside, he discovers a “new existence.” Moreover, country scenes have the potential to “purify our thoughts” and erase some of the vices that develop in the city.
Disguised or Mistaken Identities
The plot of Oliver Twist revolves around the various false identities that other characters impose upon Oliver, often for the sake of advancing their own interests. Mr. Bumble and the other workhouse officials insist on portraying Oliver as something he is not—an ungrateful, immoral pauper. Monks does his best to conceal Oliver’s real identity so that Monks himself can claim Oliver’s rightful inheritance. Characters also disguise their own identities when it serves them well to do so. Nancy pretends to be Oliver’s middle-class sister in order to get him back to Fagin, while Monks changes his name and poses as a common criminal rather than the heir he really is. Cloths play an important part in the construction of various characters’ identities.
Hidden Family Relationships
The revelation of Oliver’s familial ties is among the novel’s most unlikely plot turns: Oliver is related to Brownlow, who was married to his father’s sister; to Rose, who is his aunt; and to Monks, who is his half-brother. This is nor very real, but fantasy. Oliver is at first believed to be an orphan without parents or relatives. Yet, by the end of the novel, it is revealed that he has more relatives than just about anyone else in the novel. This reversal of his fortunes strongly resembles the fulfillment of a naïve child’s wish. The robbery of the houses of his relatives! Portrait
Before Oliver finds his real family, a number of individuals serve him as substitue parents, mostly with very limited success. Mrs. Mann and Mr. Bumble are surrogate parents, albeit horribly negligent ones, for the vast numbers of orphans under their care. Mr. Sowerberry and his wife. The most provocative of the novel’s mock family structures is the unit formed by Fagin and his young charges. Oddly enough, the only satisfactory surrogate parents Oliver finds are Brownlow and Rose, both of whom turn out to be actual relatives.
Mr. Sowerberry, Charley Bates, and Toby Crackit all comment on its particular appeal, and its resemblance to the portrait of Agnes Fleming provides the first clue to Oliver’s identity.
Symbols - Characters’ Names represent personal qualities. Oliver Twist “Twist,” – reversal of fortune. T letter. Rose Maylie’s name echoes her association with flowers and springtime, youth and beauty. Toby Crackit’s name is a lighthearted reference to his chosen profession of breaking into houses. Mr. Bumble’s name connotes his bumbling arrogance; Mrs. Mann’s, her lack of maternal instinct; and Mr. Grimwig’s, his superficial grimness that can be removed as easily as a wig.
Oliver Twist 10 years old, food!!!
As the child hero of a melodramatic novel of social protest, Oliver Twist is meant to appeal more to our sentiments than to our literary sensibilities. On many levels, Oliver is not a believable character, because although he is raised in corrupt surroundings, his purity and virtue are absolute. Throughout the novel, Dickens uses Oliver’s character to challenge the Victorian idea that paupers and criminals are already evil at birth, arguing instead that a corrupt environment is the source of vice. Oliver is shocked and horrified when he sees the Artful Dodger and Charley Bates pick a stranger’s pocket and again when he is forced to participate in a burglary. Furthermore, other pauper children use rough Cockney slang, but Oliver, oddly enough, speaks in proper King’s English. His grammatical fastidiousness is also inexplicable, as Oliver presumably is not well-educated. Even when he is abused and manipulated, Oliver does not become angry or indignant. When Sikes and Crackit force him to assist in a robbery, Oliver merely begs to be allowed to “run away and die in the fields.” Oliver does not present a complex picture of a person torn between good and evil—instead, he is goodness incarnate.
A major concern of Oliver Twist is the question of whether a bad environment can irrevocably poison someone’s character and soul. Nancy. As a child of the streets, Nancy has been a thief and drinks to excess. The narrator’s reference to her “free and agreeable . . . manners” indicates that she is a prostitute. She sacrifices her own life in order to protect Oliver. Nancy’s moral complexity is unique among the major characters in Oliver Twist. Nancy is capable of both good and evil. Her ultimate choice to do good at a great personal cost is a strong argument in favor of the incorruptibility of basic goodness, no matter how many environmental obstacles it may face. Nancy’s love for Sikes exemplifies the moral ambiguity of her character. Nancy’s character suggests that the boundary between virtue and vice is not always clearly drawn.
Although Dickens denied that anti-Semitism had influenced his portrait of Fagin, the Jewish thief’s characterization does seem to owe much to ethnic stereotypes. He is ugly, miserly. Constant references to him as “the Jew” seem to indicate that his negative traits are intimately connected to his ethnic identity. However, Fagin is more than a statement of ethnic prejudice. He is a richly drawn, resonant embodiment of terrifying villainy. At times, he seems like a child’s distorted vision of pure evil.
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