Comment on Charles Dickens Writing style

Dickens began his literary career as a journalist writing in weekly or monthly installments. He was requested by Messrs. Chapman and Hall, a firm of publishers to produce a story in installments which would accompany a series of sketches by Seymour, a black and white artist. The story was supposed to provide the sketches with general interest; the subjects were also supposed to be of a sporting and convivial type. It was a huge success and the stories were published as a novel, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club in 1836. Dickens future as a novelist became secure and he began to write novels, which made him immensely popular. But he never relinquished his connection with journals, working in various capacities of publisher, editor or contributor in The Daily News', 'Household Words' and 'All the Year Round'. As a journalist, Dickens campaigned on issues like sanitation and the workhouse. He was successful in exposing evils and reforming them through his novels and his journalistic efforts.

His popularity was unprecedented in Britain and in the United States of America until he published his 'American Notes' in 1842. This demand often made him hasty and it showed in his work in the form of weak plots, unrealistic characters and looseness of style. His stories also had to be written in parts or it had to be serialized, which had its own disadvantages. He had to end each episode in an atmosphere of anticipation, which would keep reading waiting for the next episode. Since a short period elapsed before the publication of the next episode, the author was able to assess puh: opinion. At times, the author would alter the story in keeping with his reader's expectation. Such change at times caused lop-sidedness in creating his fictive world. Sometimes Dickens made his anxious reading public wait for long months to know the outcome of an event or about the fate of a character. As an episodic style of writer Dickens obviously did whatever was required of him, yet he was able to end his novels with coherence. He believed that good always won in unexpected ways and accordingly his novels too employed incredible coincidences, which helped him in his plot construction. His stories always exhibited his faith in religion.

Charles Dickens Writing style


Dickens exposure to the poor working conditions of the working class as a child, made him use satire to expose this world in his novels and essays. According to RJ. Rees, 'Dickens was another great writer who, although not generally thought of as a satirist, often used his influence as a novelist to attack and criticise the social injustices of his time: poverty, bad education, inefficiency in government and law, shocking inequalities of wealth and so on." He was interested in elevating their standard of living. He was involved in several philanthropic activities and his novels give us a proper idea of the poverty and crime in society, Because of his depiction, the London slum, Jacob's Island was actually cleared. His stint as a reporter of legal proceedings gave him an in-depth knowledge of the system, which he wrote about, in Bleak House and in Little Dorrit. Through, these novels he portrayed a realistic picture of the usage of law in Britain. He showed how the laws could destroy even while seeming to help people and exposed the state of affairs in the legal system in Britain.

Dickens' characters are immortal... Mr. Micawber, Uriah Heep, Mr. Murdstone Miss. Havisham, Pip and so many others show his great capacity of creating a large number of diverse characters, each bestowed with special characteristics. For instance, Uriah Heap is 'umble', Mr. Murdstone is cold and murderous, and Barkis is 'willing' and so on. Critics have pointed out that Dickens' characters are 'flat's': they do not evolve. They are like characters of inferior plays,, sentimental and unrealistic. Yet Dickens characters are loved for the sole reason that they are extremely alive. Indeed Rees says Dickens's characters bring to mind Dryden's exclamation of Chaucer's s characters 'Here is God's plenty.

His imagination was of the highest order. Probably no other ! novelist has been able to produce the range of characters and multiplicity of situations that his brilliant genius produced. His first t novel The Pickwick Papers showed his minute observation, large capacity for portraying details and a vast number of characters. However, his situations according to Oscar Wilde are cat times "ludicrously sentimental.'

However, his reputation rests on his humour, which was s. broad, humane and creative. It was spontaneous, vividly portrayed and at times rough and crude. He is never subtle. The names of his s characters amused his readers and their mannerisms appealed to their r sense of humour. The speech of uneducated people and of regional! speech added to the variety of his fiction. His pathos seemed forced and a later generation of readers and critics have called it sentimental and melodramatic. He is unable to rise to tragic heights. In Hard! Times, he uses satire and ridicule to display the manner in which workers were viewed as extensions of machines. Most importantly he was successful in presenting nineteenth century, Victorian life in all its complexity with lifelike descriptions of places and objects. His descriptive powers are unparalleled.

Dickens prose is clear, easy and functional. Being a journalist and a novelist who was in great demand, he hardly had time for much deliberation over his proses Edward Albert states that, 'It is sometimes trivial with puns, Cockneyisms and tiresome circumlocutions. This heavy-handedness of phrase remained with him all his life. In his more aspiring flights, in particular in his deeply pathetic passages, he adopted a lyrical style, a kind of verse-in-prose that is blank verse slightly disguised'. As In the Old Curiosity Shop, he wrote, 'For she was dead. There upon her little bed, she lay at rest.

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