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Who Is Charles Dickens? Essay

1599 words - 6 pages

The Victorian Age was beginning to show when Charles Dickens lived in England. It was between 1812 and 1870 as imperialism and industrialism emerged, a democracy bloomed, and middle classes were developing within the city. He wrote about his life in this period of time, taking to the streets and all the villages that surrounded London. Most of the “fictional” characters he wrote were portrayals of people from his daily life and were from the perspective of the poor, working, and middle class that is recognized through the ages. Dickens clearly gave how ineffective social policies and discrimination gave families and communities grief in this time. He was born on February 7, 1812 and in 2012 writers celebrated his 200th anniversary of birth. This brought a banquet of books for the occasion that all had to do with the writer that so many claim to be a gift from Victorian England. It is true, every new work relating to historical fiction screamed Dickens-like writing. His purists remind us that he was, as he liked to be called, the Inimitable (Philpotts). In A Tale of Two Cities the opening of the novel makes it clear how important doubles are throughout the entire book. Doubles prove to be important to the plot, structure and dominant themes. The theme that emerges in pages early on is the idea of resurrection and it would not be possible without a death of some sort. Dickens established a dark place that suggests death from where he could resurrect the long imprisoned Doctor Manette. There are many ominous objects and scenery to make this so. There is an obscured path, hidden by mist that the mail coach drives on, once there, it is a dark paneled room and each chapter has shadowy corners and gloom. Dickens ponders over the “wonderful act” that is found obscured in these pages. The act is that every person in every room in every house that he passes, possesses a secret, unknown to anyone. It is unknown to friends, family, and all loved ones. Progressing in the novel, readers will witness Dickens digging, sort of like how Lorry anticipates digging Doctor Manette out of his mind and the experience he had in Bastille. It is the secrets that provide Manette his motivations. This project of discovery, typical of Dickens style, happens in pieces and at a turtle’s pace. The reader has no idea the traumatic effects that the doctor’s incarceration had been until they finish. The tactic is a favorite of Dicken’s as he uses it in much of his work. A Tale of Two Cities came out as small chapters in what is called, serial format. The weekly installments ran from the middle of April until November 26, 1859. The style was the reason that each chapter is so short and they all have such specific headings. If they are read in order, they give a story outline through the chapter names. As examples, the first three chapters of the second book bear subheadings “Five Years Later,” “A Sight,” and “A Disappointment,” respectively. Dickens talents mainly included...

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