The 19th Century Critical Realism And Charles Dickens

4728 words - 19 pages

Chapter I. Introduction

In the 1830s, as the capitalist system had established and consolidated in Europe, the drawbacks of the capitalist society appeared, and the class contradictions also sharpened day by day. The capitalist mode of production "has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than calloused `cash payment'. It has drowned out the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom --- Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation."(Marx, Engels 1972: 253). Additionally, the development of natural science and the victory in objecting to the religion and idealism struggle of materialism impelled the writers to break the traditional concept and illusion, and to watch the world and research the social realistic problems with the relatively objective even scientific eyes, so that Realism replaced Romanism to become the principal school of European literary circles. Since at that time the realistic literature was good at ferreting out to capitalist society and criticism, Maxim Gorky called it as "the criticized realism"(Gorky 1978: 110-111).

Chapter II. The History and Background of Critical Realism

From the 1830s, the power of capitalism in both France and Britain got success in their countries. The capitalist regime increasingly got consolidated and developed. In the 1830s, the French July Revolution broke out, and the big bourgeoisie obtained the victory. At the same time, genital bourgeois revolution occurred in Britain. After the property revolution, British capitalistic economy developed very quickly, and the ruler status of bourgeoisie gradually established. However, in spite of England or France, the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the feudal nobles was not complete over. At the same time, antinomy between the big bourgeoisies and the small bourgeoisies increasingly turned worse. But because of the ruthless economic exploitation and political oppression of capitalism, the struggle by the proletariats against the bourgeoisie became sharper and sharper. The class contradiction between them gradually became the principal contradiction in the western social life.

During the 30s and 40s of the 19th century, large-scale worker uprisings broke out in France and Britain, which were the great struggles between the two opposite classes in the modern society. In 1848, Marx and Engels established the theory of scientific socialism, which absorbed many different kinds of philosophical theories on the basis of the struggle of the working class, and announced the great proletarian revolutionary cultural heritage The Manifesto of the...

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