The Cricket On The Hearth And A Tale Of Two Cities: Charles Dickens

2640 words - 11 pages

Charles Dickens is arguably one of the best writers of his time. He wrote many classic novels that are still appreciated today. A Tale of Two Cities is known for its description of the events leading up to the French Revolution, in two very different places, London, England; and Paris, France. The Cricket on the Hearth is a touching story of two young people in love, and the lack of trust that occurs between them. Oliver Twist is the tale of a young orphan and his struggles to advance in social classes. Pip wants nothing more than to be a gentleman and to have all the money in the world; however his expectations are too great in Great Expectations. Dickens writes with humor and satire of character and social classes. Physical descriptions that bring out a character’s moral and spiritual natures are one of Dickens’s strong points according to George P Landow, an English and Arts professor from Brown University. Dickens describes even the littlest parts of the plot with great detail. Edwin P. Whipple writes in Atlantic Monthly: 1 “[Dickens] has succeeded so perfectly in… stimulating and baffling the curiosity of his readers” (156). The description in Dickens’s writing also expresses the themes of his novels. Instead of having one main theme, Dickens writes with many themes in mind. Charles Dickens illustrates the themes of social classes, city versus country, and poverty in his writing to reflect his own experiences and influence social change.
The theme of social classes is found in almost all of Dickens’s novels. Dickens writes the rich as rich as they can possibly be, which means he writes the poor as poor as they can be as well. In each of his books, Dickens shows that social classes can lead to immoral human behavior. The rich are usually “mean, selfish, and often cruel, while the poor are clever, brave, and good” (Schultheiss). He writes to get a reaction from the hearts and minds of his readers. He wants his readers to feel sorry for the lower-class, orphan-boy Oliver Twist, or the couple that lives in the low-class section of town and tries to be as happy as they can possibly be, the Peerybingles, not the woman rolling in money from the upper class, Mrs. Havisham, or the rich, gruff employer of Mr. Peerybingle, Tackleton. Sadly, the lower class people want to be part of the upper class without thinking of the complications that could arise. They do not think of the disadvantages to having all that money; they think it will make them happy. Really, though, if they look at the life they are living right now, they are happy. They have friends and family who cares for them, and they have all they need to survive. Many of Dickens’s characters do not know that they are happy until the end of the novel. In Great Expectations,2 Pip says, “I want to be a gentleman” (Dickens 172). He thinks that being a gentleman will get him the girl he loves, Estella. However, when he does become a gentleman, Estella treats him no differently. Pip’s...

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