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American Notes; A Journey (This Is A Book Review Essay On The American Notes: A Journey, Written By Charles Dickens About His Experienes In The U.S.

2153 words - 9 pages

American Notes: A JourneyIn 1842, the well established author, Charles Dickens toured the United States of America and wrote down an account of his journey within a young democratic nation. He published this account and called it American Notes: A Journey. The purpose of the book was to give an account of America to the British public. From the very start of the journey, Dickens was speaking in the voice of a traveller whose thriving for adventure gave him and indifferent perspective. Later on within the account, Dickens takes a very critical view upon the Americans. Dickens is and was very popular with many of his creative and funny works such as "Oliver Twist" and "Great Expectations" during the 1840s, so it was no surprise that "American Notes" had influenced a great number of people within North America and Britain, and even stirred the old political feud that existed between the two nations. However exciting and influential Dickens's American Notes actually was for the public, the book did not serve as a clear account of facts about America for readers because Dickens wrote with a satiric, biased, and narrow point of view.From the beginning of Dickens's journey he seemed very excited to be going on a tour to America, but as he steps on the steamboat Britannia he is not as enthusiastic. He states, "We had experienced a pretty smart shock before coming, which but that we were the most sanguine people living, might have prepared us for the worst." The living conditions on the boat and throughout his journey through America left him frustrated and unimpressed. As an established figure, Dickens believed he would have been received with the best treatment throughout his tour, but claimed so many times he was "shocked by the ill manners" of Americans. Dickens lands in Boston and from there he makes his way to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Richmond, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Niagara Falls, and Canada before making his way home. The topics that Dickens addressed included America's institutions, Wall Street, slavery and the American press. Dickens was vastly impressed with the university he saw at Boston."There is no doubt that much of the intellectual refinement and superiority of Boston, is referable to the quiet influence of the University of Cambridge, which is within three or four miles of the city. The resident professors at that university are gentlemen of learning and varied attainments; and are, without one exception that I can call to mind, men who would shed a grace upon, and do honour to, any society in the civilised world. Many of the resident gentry in Boston and its neighbourhood, and I think I am not mistaken in adding, a large majority of those who are attached to the liberal professions there, have been educated at this same school. Whatever the defects of American universities may be, they disseminate no prejudices; rear no bigots; dig up the buried ashes of no old superstitions; never interpose between the people and...

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