Exploration of How Males are Presented in Victorian Short Stories
Charles Dickens was a prominent author who wrote on the historical
eighteenth century issues relevant to the Victorian context. He wrote
the following short stories and novels, Captain Murderer, Sikes and
Nancy and the Great Expectations. In these stories there are three
comparable characters that I am going to compare and contrast. These
characters are Captain Murderer (from Captain Murderer), Sikes (from
Sikes and Nancy) and finally Magwitch (from Great Expectations).
Additionally, I will also refer, where possible, to the historical and
Victorian context within which they are written.
Dickens initially introduces Captain Murderer by saying, "he intrudes
on his peaceful youth". The suggestion here is that Captain Murderer
is unwelcome and it is reinforced by the fact that Dickens describes
him as "a wretch". Captain Murderer is also described as a "diabolical
character". This contrasts with the phrase "peaceful youth". In
addition, the author describes Captain Murderer's ancestors. Dickens
tells us that the character is an "offshoot of the Blue Beard family".
This shows the reader that Captain Murderer is an obnoxious and
despicable character. Dickens has also made a point in line thirteen
with the phrase, "horses was milk-white" symbolising the clean,
untouched brides which is in contrast with the vile character of
Captain Murderer. Commenting on the same subject and line, he also
puts a red spot of blood on the milk-white horses, which signifies the
fatality of the brides.
Dickens also shows that Captain Murderer has a detrimental impact on
those around him. For example, the bride is uncomfortable with him,
"disquieting the minds of bridal company". This shows that males in
Victorian times are in control of females when in the modern era
everyone has equal rights. Dickens has embraced a lot of symbolism to
describe the death of the brides. For instance, "I see the meat in the
glass!" This is also a condition of Captain Murderer's behaviour in
that he is an eccentric person who makes death jokes and enjoys them.
Captain Murderer's performance is once again symbolised in the
quotation, "Captain Murderer went on in this way, prospering
exceedingly," which implies that he was unhurt or unruffled by the
death of the bride. In the novel there are various places where
Captain Murderer behaves bizarrely, "Planted with curious flowers",
"laughed at his ferocious practical joke" and "humorously resorted"
are three illustrations of this point. Dickens uses these phrases to
show that Captain Murderer acts in an abnormal manner. This is unusual
for an upper class citizen.
His language and manner are upper class with an educated vocabulary.
This is shown by, "They are called garnish for house - lamb," Captain