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Charles Dickens Essay

2466 words - 10 pages

Charles Dickens is among some of the great fiction authors of the Victorian era. He was more than just a writer nevertheless; he inspired changes throughout the world with the use of writing. For a man to come from his childhood scenario to where he developed could be seen as amazing, but really his struggles are the blessings for his success. Charles Dickens was inspired by the struggles of the poor and the oppressed, his writing caused societal changes, and he used fictional people and events to represent the real world.

Subtopic 1
During the Victorian Era in Britain there was a severe gap between the rich and the poor. The poor were often forced to work in dangerous circumstances ...view middle of the document...

Charles Dickens felt very strongly about how immoral the debtors prisons were and he even wrote a good bit of satire about them. Charles Dickens’ experiences with the debtors’ prisons as a child affected his views on it in his writing.

Living alone while his family was in the debtors’ prison was very hard for Charles. When he was working in the blacking houses to try and help his family he felt very humiliated because of how low in social class it was considered to work there. He lived his life so that he would never have to experience that humiliation ever again. Charles would often find himself wandering in the streets of London just trying to escape the decrepit boarding house that he was living in. Charles’ experiences of living by himself in London to try and pay off his father’s debts would greatly inspire his writing.

Through all the grief in Charles Dickens’ past, he grew a greater appreciation of what poor people experience. Through his writing he shows great compassion toward the poor people. The Dark Days of his childhood that include the debtors prison and blacking warehouse shaped the lens in which he views the poor.

During Charles Dickens’ writing career he was a strong advocate for the poor and oppressed. He displayed this by challenging the present social norms of the poor people. The famous line from Dickens’ Oliver Twist, where Oliver says to Mr. Bumber “please sir, I want some more.”(Page 12, Dickens) he goes directly against the social norm that the poor should passive accept what s given to them. In the novel, Oliver is beaten, confined, and sent away from the orphanage after this incident. This theme of power differences between the rich and the poor is repeated in many of Dickens’ other works.

Dickens shows the hypocrisy of many of the prevalent social norms at the time by showing them for what they are, hypocritical. In a good bit of his satire he criticizes the Christian outreach to the poor because of the blatant hypocrisy. He carps them for beating kids and excluding the disabled while preaching the message that they were fighting social injustices. There were many other similar things brought up throughout Dickens’ satirical writings. Dickens was akin to speaking out against the negative social norms for the poor and oppressed.

Charles Dickens was also extremely empathetic towards outcasts. Dickens is especially empathetic towards outcast children, because as a child he was in many of their same situations. He commonly visited the black houses, ragged schools and hospitals to support the young outcast kids. He did not like that kids had to work when their parent got in debt because of his opinion that children should be able to act childlike. Through his experiences as a child he understood what it was like for these kids so he wanted to do anything he could to change the way things were.

Dickens made very positive image for the poor people. He always displayed the poor through the eyes of a...

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