DICKENS

THE PLOTS OF D'S NOVELS

D's plots are well-planned even if at times they sounds a bit artificial and sentimental. London was the setting of most of his novels. In D's first London sketches only the sayings and doings of the middle classes were described, and chiefly in a comic manner. He gradually developed a more radical view of the social scene, although he did not become a revolutionary thinker, and he was aware of the spiritual and material corruption of present-day reality under the impact of industrialism; the result was an increasingly critical attitude towards his society. In fact, in his mature works D. succeeded in drawing popular attention to public abuse, evils and wrongs by mingling terrible descriptions of London misery and crime with the most amusing sketches of the town.

THE PAINTER OF ENGLISH LIFE

D. is a subtle observer of London life, which he had come to know during his wanderings in the town; in his boyhood he had long observed streets and squares, particulary in those parts of the town where the poor lived. He felt the atmosphere of a place, the shabbiness and melancholy of the streets, the noise of the markets. He knew from personal experience the life led in factories, the routine in the offices, the sordid life in a debtors' prison. He gives us a minute description of British homelife, of school system, of lower or middle-class people, with every detail of manners, appearance and dress.

CHARACTERS

D's world is inhabited and enlivened by hundreds of characters drawn from the observation of real people. His characters may be roughly dived into good and evil, but he doesn't create types. Each characters is unlike the others, each one is an individual. They may sometimes be exaggerated and grotesque, but where he sees some eccentricity of manner, some characteristic idiosyncrasy or foible, he is at is best. D. is not concerned with the spiritual side of his characters; he is an untiring observer of the external qualities of people. Finally he was always on the side of the poor, the outcast, and also the working class and shifted the social frontiers of the novel.

SOCIAL OR HUMANITARIAN NOVELS

D wrote fiction as he was a novelist by vocation, but he used fiction to denounce the vices and evils of his age. He wasn't a reformer because he didn't advocated any fundamental change in the overall system; he however engaged in welfare projects, such as slum clearance, schools for poor children, etc. He exerted a considerable influence on the reform movement of the age by shedding light on the brutality of some schools, on the vices of the criminal world, on the dirt and squalor of London slums and on the conditions of their inhabitants in a period of industrial revolution.

A DIDACTIC AIM

SERIAL NOVEL

A serial novel is a novel which is published in instalment. Serial novel is typical of Victorian age and presents many advantages and also many disadvantages. This type of novel made possible that the number of readers increased enormously because they wanted to know how the story ended, it is also a document of that particularly age. Finally it was a way to create a language, and especially a spelling, common in every part of the kingdom. Nevertheless the ending part of every chapter have to be full of suspense. The editor chose the forty-two pages which could be publish from the fifty-two wrote by the writer. So the writer couldn't make a psychological analysis of his character which became only a caricature. Finally there is no balance and there wasn't any time to revise the pattern of the story.