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Charles Dickens

INTRODUCTION

This report will talk about the life of a famous author, Charles Dickens. It will tell you about his
early, middle, and later years of his life. It will also talk about one of his great works of literature.
In conclusion, this report will show a comparison of his work to his life. EARLY LIFE Charles
Dickens was born at Landport, in Portsea, on February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the
Navy Pay-Office, and was temporarily on duty in the neighborhood when Charles was born. His
name was John Dickens. He spent time in prison for debts. But, even when he was free he
lacked the money to support his family. Then, when Charles was two they moved to London.

1 Just before he started to toddle, he stepped into the glare of footlights. He never stepped out of
it until he died. He was a good man, as men go in the bewildering world of ours, brave,
transparent, tender-hearted, and honorable. Dickens was always a little too irritable because he
was a little too happy. Like the over-wrought child in society, he was splendidly sociable, and in
and yet sometimes quarrelsome. In all the practical relations of his life he was what the child is at
a party, genuinely delighted, delightful, affectionate and happy, and in some strange way
fundamentally sad and dangerously close to tears.

2 At the age of 12 Charles worked in a London factory pasting labels on bottles of shoe polish. He
held the job only for a few months, but the misery of the experience remain with him all his life.

3 Dickens attended school off and on until he was 15, and then left for good. He enjoyed reading
and was especially fond of adventure stories, fairy tales, and novels. He was influenced by such
earlier English writers as William Shakespeare, Tobias Smollet, and Henry Fielding. However,
most of the knowledge he later used as an author came from his environment around him.

4 MIDDLE LIFE Dickens became a newspaper writer and reporter in the late 1820's. He
specialized in covering debates in Parliament, and also wrote feature articles. His work as a
reporter sharpened his naturally keen ear for conversation and helped develop his skill in
portraying his characters speach realistically. It also increased his ability to observe and to write
swiftly and clearly. Dickens' first book, Sketches by Boz (1836) consisted of articles he wrote for
the Monthly Magazine and the London Evening Chronicles.

5 On April 2, 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth. This was just a few days before the
anoucement that on the 31st he would have his first work printed in The Posthumous Papers of
the Pickwick Club. And this was the beginning of his career.

6 Then, at 24, Dickens became famous and was so until he died. He won his first literary fame
with The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Published in monthly parts in 1836 and 1837
the book describes the humorous adventure and misadventures of the English Countryside. After
a slow start, The Pickwick Papers as the book was usually called gained a popularity seldom
matched in the history of literature.

7 Then in 1837, Catherine's sister Mary, died. Because of her death Dickens' suffered a lot of
grief. This led some scholars to believe that Dickens loved Mary more than Catherine. Catherine
was a good woman but she lacked intelligence. Dickens and Catherine had 10 children. Then
later in 1858, the couple seperated.

8 LATER LIFE His later years was basically consisting of two main additions to his previous
activites. The first was a series of public readings and lectures which he began giving it
systematically. And second, he was a successive editor. Dickens had been many things in his life;
he was a reporter , an actor, a conjurer, a poet, a lecturer, and a editor and he enjoyed all of those
things.

9 Dickens had a remarkable mental and physical energy. He recorded all his activites in
thousands of letter, many of which made delightful readings. He spent much of his later life with
crowded social friends from arts and literature. He also went to the theater as often as he could,
cause he loved drama. Dickens also produced and acted in small theaters to give public readings
of his work.

10 Besides doing all this after his retirement he got involved in various charities . These charities
included schools for poor children and a loan society to enable the poor to prove to Australia.

11 Then about 1865 his health started to decline and he died of a stroke on June 9, 1870. 12
Dicken's Work The Great Expectations This story talks about a guy who is in love with a girl. It is
the theme of a youths discovery of the realities of life. An unknown person provides the young
hero, Pip, with money so that he can live as a gentleman. Pip's pride is shattered when he learns
that he loses Estella forever, the source of his "great expectation". Only by painfully revising his
values does Pip reestablish his life on a foundation of sympathy, rather than on vanity,
possesions, and social position. Conclusion His work of Great Expectation is very related with his
life. It deals with the same problems he faced when he lost Catherine and how his life was before
he became rich and famous. He also created scenes and descriptions of places that have longed
delighted readers. Dickens was a keen observer of life and had a great understanding of
humanity, especially of young people. The warmth and humor of his personality appeared in all of
his works. Perhaps in no other large body of fiction does the reader receive so strong and
agreeable impression of the person behind the story.

Endnotes

1. G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens The Last of The Great Men, American Book-Stratford Press,
NY., 1942 pg.19 2. Ibid, pg. 21-22 3. Johnson, Edgar, His Tragedy and Triumph. Rev. ed. Viking,
1977, pg. 20 4. Ibid, pg. 27 5. World Book Encyclopedia, Random House, NY., 1990 pg. 193 6. G.
K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens The Last of the Great Men, American Book-Stratford Press, NY.,
1942 pg. 50 7. World Book Encyclopedia, Random House, NY., 1990 pg. 193 8. Johnson, Edgar,
His Tragedy and Triumph. Rev. ed. Viking, 1977, pg. 53 9. G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens The
Last of the Great Men, American Book-Stratford Press, NY., 1942 pg. 167 10. World Book
Encyclopedia, Random House, NY., 1990 pg.195 11. Ibid 12. Ibid BIBLIOGRAPHY Chesterton,
G.K., "The Last of the Great Men" American Book-Stratford Press, NY., 1942. Johnson, Edgar,
"His Tragedy and Triumph" Rev. ed. Viking, 1977. World Book Encyclopedia, Random House,
NY., 1990

Charles Dickens 2

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Charles Dickens has been acclaimed as one of the foremost satirists of the nineteenth century. In
his novel A Tale of Two Cities Dickens finds fault with the social structure of the society. A few of
these social problems are the difference between the classes, the lunacy of the revolution, and
the judicial system in effect as this time. The first of the faults in the social structure of the society
is the difference between the classes. It is not just the difference between the poor and rich but
also between the rich and the royalty. While Monsieur the Marquis is driving through St. Antoine,
he runs over a child. All he does is toss a few gold coins out to the father and drives away. This is
showing that all the aristocracy cares about is money. Another place in the novel where Dickens
shows the difference between the classes is when the Monseigneur is having his chocolate while
everyone is waiting to speak with him. When he is done with his chocolate all he does is walk out
and brushes past everyone else as if they are not there. This shows that all the higher aristocracy
cares about is themselves. Another fault the Dickens points out about the social structure in the
society is the lunacy associated with the revolution. The way the people of St. Antoine get crazy
from being in such a violent situation is the fault that is being described here. When the wood-
sawyer starts talking about his saw as "his little guillotine" it shows that he is affected and is a
"typical revolutionary", with a cruel regard for life. Another place where Dickens describes this
revolution lunacy is when the crowd of "five thousand demons" come around the corner "dancing"
to the Carmagnole, the song of the revolution. This shows that everyone who has a part in the
revolution has become like one, a large mass of mindless people who only have death on their
minds. The third fault that Dickens wants to point out in the novel is the way the judicial system is
corrupt. Throughout the novel Dickens mentions that any of the aristocracy could have put any
person in prison just by "making a call." This shows that there was no system of balances to keep
order in the courts. Another way Dickens shows the faults in the judicial system is when Madame
Defarge wants to kill not just Charles Darnay, but his entire family. This shows that during the
revolution the judicial system was changed, to suit the common people, but the mentality
remained the same. Because of these faults, Dickens shows that nothing is perfect, not even
after the revolution does anything really change. These are not the only faults of the social
structure of the society, but there are many more that show Dickens' ridicule for this society.