The Textual Life of Dickens' Characters by James A. Davies

By James A. Davies

This e-book translates a couple of Dickens' works in the course of the distinct research of a unmarried characterization in every one. it really is generally curious about the textual services of characters, i.e., with how analyses of Dickens's equipment of characterization aid us comprehend what characters do inside his texts.
The writer provides a selective number of significant and minor characters. integrated are examples from the 3 major classes of Dickens's occupation, from his non-fiction in addition to fiction, and from the mix of either that's Sketches via Boz. there's an emphasis at the later books and especially on Our Mutual Friend.
Contents: IntroductionóSome Sketches through Boz; enhancing SummariesóThe fats Boy in The Pickwick Papers; younger Bailey in Martin Chuzzlewit; Gaffer Hexam in Our Mutual Friend; NarratorsóSome Epistolary Personae; The bothered tourist in Pictures From Italy; The Sentimental Paternalist in A Christmas Carol; Extending the Interface: The 3rd Narrator in Bleak House; The Middle-aged Businessman: The Narrator of Great Expectations; Sexism and sophistication Bias: The Narrator of Our Mutual Friend; Re-readersóKnowing What occurs in Our Mutual Friend; Droodiana and The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Characterisation and concepts in Little Dorrit: Clennam and Calvinism; Characterisation and constitution: John Harmon in Our Mutual buddy; tale and Text.

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But the Fat Boy has a monstrous solipsism; invariably he cares for no one's opinion and lives within his own selfishness. Garrett Stewart writes of the relationship of the part to the whole of a Dickens novel: 'points of focal concentration in Dickens are acts of symbolic synecdoche, the part standing for and even amplifying the whole. To locate these moments in a given novel is often to take its deepest pulse, to find not only clues to meaning, but compacted versions of it. [Such] nerve centres of Dickens's prose frequently collapse into a single disclosure the largest themes of their books'.

At the opening of Chapter 2, the story's real beginning, in the sudden reminder of summer on a late autumn day, 'the birds began to chirp and twitter ... as though the hopeful creatures half believed Modifying Summaries 45 that winter had gone by, and spring had come already' (ii, 7). The birds, so to say, are optimistic but deceived; they become despondently silent as the sun goes down. As the text unfolds, the link between birds and deception is insisted upon: Mercy Pecksniff is a 'playful warbler' (ii, 14); the Blue Dragon's bedroom where Old Martin lies ill is a 'dull, leaden, drowsy place' with 'no round-eyed birds upon the curtains, disgustingly wide awake, and insufferably prying' (iii, 27); Pecksniff is compared to a dove; Mercy has such 'gay simplicity ...

When he tries to play in the street with local lads he is 'pursued and brought back by the hair of his head, or the lobe of his ear' (ix, 143); she keeps him in line with frequent threats and a liking for the 'manual compliment' (ix, 144). Despite this he is a boy 'whom nothing disconcerted or put out of his way' (ix, 147). His manner is always engagingly careless of social form: at the Sunday dinner- Modifying Summaries 33 party he appears in a suit of cast-offs far too big for him and acts so much more like a guest than a servant that Gander, one of the commercials, even proposes his health in a 'convulsing speech' (ix, 149).

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