Charles Dickens: Creating Emotions For The Reader

2088 words - 8 pages

Charles Dickens, the son of John and Elizabeth Dickens, was born in Landport on 7th February 1812. John Dickens worked as a clerk at the Navy pay office in Portsmouth. He later found work in Chatham and Charles; the second of seven children, went to the local school. Dickens father, John Dickens, found it extremely difficult to provide for his family on his meagre income. This resulted in the family being forced to sell most of their possessions but that still was not enough to satisfy his creditors and he ended up being arrested and put in Marshalsea Prison. His father was apparently the inspiration for the character of Mr Micawber in “David Copperfield” and also within “Great Expectations” the character Magwitch is seen as a father like figure who is a convict. Both characters were created and influenced by Dickens’s past. Once his father was imprisoned the entire family, apart from Charles, were sent to Marshalsea along with their patriarch. Charles was 12 years old when he was taken out of school and sent to work in Warren's blacking factory and endured appalling conditions as well as loneliness and despair. He said that it was the most terrible time of his life and these experiences that he endured were written about in some of his work. Six months after being sent to Marshalsea, one of John Dickens's relatives died. He was left enough money in the will to pay off his debts and to leave prison. After three long years Charles was returned to school, but the experience and suffering he endured was never forgotten and later became fictionalised in two of his better-known novels “David Copperfield” and “Great Expectations”.
Some of the inheritance that Charles’s father had been given was used to get Charles educated at a nearby private school, Wellington House Academy. Charles was only a moderate student and at the age of fifteen he left school and found work as an office boy in a firm of solicitors. He did not particularly like the work but he did enjoy observing the many different types of people within London. He wanted to become a reporter, so he bought a book and began to teach himself short hand. In 1828, aged sixteen, Dickens found work as a court reporter. Dickens soon became interested in the subject of social reform and started contributing articles to the radical newspaper, the True Sun. In his articles, Dickens used his considerable knowledge of what went on in the House of Commons to help promote the cause of parliamentary reform.
In 1833 Dickens had his first story published in the Monthly Magazine. Using the pen-name of 'Boz', Dickens also began contributing short stories to the Morning Chronicle and the London Evening Chronicle. These stories were so popular that they were collected together and published as a book entitled Sketches by Boz (1836). In April 1836, he married Catherine Hogarth, within the same month came the publication of the highly successful 'Pickwick Papers’ and from that point on there was no looking back for...

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