Our Mutual Friend Essay

1790 words - 7 pages

In many novels, the society created by the author is surrounded by wealth and corruption. Numerous amount of times these settings are produced based on the life in which the author lives. Charles Dickens is no different. In the midst of most of his novels, Dickens exposes the deception of Victorian England and the strict society that holds everything together. In Dickens' novel Our Mutual Friend, a satire is created where the basis of the novel is the mockery against money and morals. Throughout this novel, multiple symbols and depictions of the characters display the corruption of the mind that surrounds social classes in Victorian England.
Our Mutual Friend, Dickens' last novel, exposes the reality Dickens is surrounded by in his life in Victorian England. The novel heavily displays the corruption of society through multiple examples. These examples, that are planted within the novel, relate to both the society in Dickens' writing and his reality. In order to properly portray the fraud taking place within his novels, Dickens' uses morality in his universe to compare to the reality of society. He repetitively references to the change of mind and soul for both the better and the worst. He speaks of the change of heart when poisoned by wealth, and he connects this disease to the balance of the rich and the poor. This is another major factor to novel, where the plot is surrounded by a social hierarchy that condemns the poor to a life of misery, and yet, condones any action that would normally be seen as immoral when it occurs in the aristocracy. It expands on the idea that only an education and inheritance will bring success in society, with few exceptions. Lastly, Dickens expands his opinions of society through his mockery of the obsessive desire for wealth and power. He displays that different lifestyles may lead to different corruptions of mind due to the affect that fortune may have on a being.
The novel depicts a chaotic society which greatly reflects the morality in Dickens' universe to the reality of his society. In the time of Dickens, a society undergoing change significantly affected the principles of Dickens' writings. Dickens and his novels, particularly Our Mutual Friend, are mainly based on morals, condemning society's unfair ruling and bringing light to the darkness of corruption. Dickens' major criticisms are about human nature, and are greatly depicted in Our Mutual Friend. "Dickens brims with originality, but expresses and addresses human nature at large" (Hardy 41). The greatest controversy stated throughout the novel is the morals of wealth. Due to a strict social hierarchy in the Victorian Era, many of Dickens' writings contain a basis of wealth being a primary theme in the novel. In Our Mutual Friend, one of the most important themes is the corruption of the mind due to an obsession with riches. Dickens shows that the need for money was the greatest desire in England. The lower classes try to be higher than their...

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