Dickens' Creation of a Picture of Nineteenth Century School in Nicholas Nickleby
This essay demonstrates how Charles Dickens, the author of the novel
'Nicholas Nickleby' creates an image of the 19th century school
Dotheby's Hall School for Boys. Also I will be discussing the
conditions of the school, the description of the boys and the
protagonists (Mr. Squeers, Smike and Nicholas.) In the 19th century
the rich students were treated pleasantly because they had the money
to pay the school however the poor students were treated harshly.
Also, in the 19th century there was no social service so the teachers
could do as they wished to the students.
When Dickens was writing this novel, conditions in schools would have
been terrible because in the 19th century there would still have been
corporal punishment. The divide between rich and poor people as the
poor people could not afford to pay so the teachers would make them
work but the rich were treated superior because they had the money to
pay for the school. In the novel, Dickens shows how one man can change
everything about Dothebys Hall School for Boys and help the
disadvantaged children in need.
However, the surroundings of the school are described to be dirty and
old, for example when Dickens describes the desks in the classrooms to
be 'old and rickety' this portrays that the school is poorly kept and
unbearable to see. This also illustrates that the classrooms are kept
insufficiently and hygienically. The children are sleeping in bad
conditions for example 'as they lay closely packed together, covered
from warmth's sake. This demonstrates poor conditions in the school. I
think that Dickens creates a dreadful picture of the school in the
novel 'Nicholas Nickleby'
In this Novel 'Nicholas Nickleby' Dickens described the children as
thin bags of bone for example 'the children are pale and have got lank
bone figures' this illustrates to the reader that the children are not
being given enough food and water as this could result in death. In
addition here is another quotation 'an unhealthy looking boy with
warts all over his hands.' This portrays that the children are not
being given any medicine for any wounds. Dickens is trying to make the
reader create a picture that makes them feel repentant for the boys.
However, Dickens shows the character Mr. and Mrs. Squeers as the
symbol of evil and violence in this novel. Mr. Squeers has power in
the beginning of the story but through the...