The Life And Works Of Charles Dickens — страница 2

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Dickens has been praised and critiqued many times regarding his works. During the later nineteenth century near the height of Dickens? popularity as an author, his novels were often critiqued regarding his unusual views. Dickens was also criticized for the complexity and publishing errors in his works, but was complemented on the creativity of his plots. Ochojski stated that “Dickens often portrays to the reader too many scenes of darkness and at times, despair” (Ochojski). Sir Walter Scott wrote No character, no matter how minor, appears on the scene without being fully described, not only as to physical appearance, but as to the clothing he wears. Dickens also excels in the short but evocative description of places; in Hard Times note the portrayal of the murky streets and

factories of Coketown and of its blighted wasteland-like countryside. (qtd. in Ochojski) In spite of the controversy, one thing was always said: “Dickens works are fantastic” (Sundell). Dickens? main flaw throughout most of his novels is that he rarely shows signs of light and bliss. Rather, “[he] creates more than half of his scenes in darkness and misty weather in unlit streets or graveyards” as critiqued later by Scott (Ochojski). It seems that most critiques seem to focus of Dickens? novel Hard Times which may be the dreariest of his works. In Dickens? works, especially Hard Times, Dickens seems to make many structural errors. In commenting on these errors, John Butts and Kathleen Tillotison remark: This technique brought on a loose, episodic treatment with a vast,

intricate plot, numerous characters and much repetition to jog the reader’s memory. Instead of the whole novel slowly building to a real climax, each part had to have a little climax of its own. (Ochojski) In this critique, it is stated that the reader?s memory is jogged, meaning that at times during his novels, Dickens creates confusing pictures and very confusing plots and therefore reminds his readers of the details in order to follow the plot. As time passed and more novels were written, a reader would notice that Dickens grew increasingly bitter with each novel. “His criticism of society became more radical, his satire more biting and less sweetened by humor” (Ochojski). This may have been the cause of his eminent divorce from his wife, and the constant questioning of

his bitter childhood by the media. (Sundell) As Dickens neared his death, he seemed even more sad and bitter in his writings. Of course, the more bitter and less humorous he became, the more he was critiqued by his readers. When comparing his first writings and his last writings, Paul Ochojski states that “In his early novels, society itself is not evil; it is only some people who are bad?” (Ochojski). Ochojski is showing the difference between Dickens? first novels where society was not evil, and later when society was portrayed as evil and corrupting. Every reader?s opinion is different based on individual interpretation which will cause supporting or criticizing Dickens? works. (Ochojski) Dickens? works seem to be very complex and difficult to understand as well. The

complex vocabulary in itself creates a huge burden on the reader if they are not familiar with Old-English vocabulary. Phrases like “?but as the Artful drew forth the five-pound note at that instant, it is doubtful whether the sally? awakened his merriment” (Dickens, Oliver Twist 163) were common in reading his works. Furthermore, Dickens? works are very sophisticated with difficult plots. The plot in Dickens? Great Expectations, for example, was difficult to understand because of the differing locations and the multiple interactions of the characters throughout the work. As seen in Oliver Twist, Dickens? works may be difficult to follow, but are also easy to relate to, since they come from the view point of someone growing up. The hardships and troubles that his main

characters portray are at times identifiable with those problems faced by today?s youth. Other times though, the problems are so outdated that someone of our time would not comprehend these troubles. For example, in Dickens? Oliver Twist, Oliver was forced to grow up in a “poor house” where today there are no such institutions. Dickens? novels are not works that can be read with ease. By contrast, Dickens? works all end with a moral which is very apparent by the time the reader has reached the end if following closely. As with Oliver Twist, for example, the moral of always telling the truth becomes an obvious theme. Dickens? works allow an individual to find significance in the modern world by expressing morals that will never become outdated. The morals of the two stories