The Writing Style of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens has a very distinct writing style; he writes in a poetic way and uses a lot of satire and consequently humor. Since Dickens’s started off his literary career writing papers for newspapers most of his stories are in an episodic form. He is a master using this method in his stories, using cliff hanger endings he was able to keep his readers interested in his stories. Dickens uses idealized characters in his books, this in itself can be a very bad thing because an idealized character does not have any room to grow throughout the course of the book. However Dickens does not make all of his characters perfect, rather he uses his idealized characters to contrast the ugly side of life that he so often portrays. Oliver Twist is an example of one of his idealized characters, during the course of the book Oliver is put through many trials including an evil orphanage and a small training center for thieves. Throughout all of this Oliver is naive and his values are never compromised even though he is put in very difficult situations. Seeing the ugly circumstances that Oliver so often occupies, it is no wonder that Dickens chose to idealize Oliver and give the reader something to love completely. If Dickens had not idealized Oliver the book would have been dark with very little joy in it.

Dickens also loves to employ incredible circumstances in his books. In Oliver Twist, Oliver turns out to be the nephew of the rich high class family that rescues him from the gang of thieves that Oliver had fallen in with. Using these incredible coincidences was popular for authors during Dickens’s time, but he uses it in a distinct way. While other authors of the period would use the method to further their plot in their simple picturesque stories, Dickens’s took the approach that good will triumph over evil sometimes even in very unexpected ways and he used the method of incredible circumstances to show his outlook.

A Christmas Carole is one of the best loved Christmas stories of all time. In a Christmas Carole Dickens uses music and mysterious ghosts to bring to bring an old miser the message of Christmas. Ebenezer Scrooge is a very rich business man that makes his living by lending money to the less fortunate and charging them large amounts interest. This often leads to his borrowers going out of business but Scrooge is selfish and he does not care what happens to other people so long as his supply of money continues to increase. Here Dickens’s is critiquing the rich upper class in Londonwho largely ignored the starving population outside their window. On Christmas Eve Scrooge is visited by a ghost of his old partner. This ghost tells or the horrors that await him in the afterlife because of all the crimes he had committed against his fellow man. Once the ghost disappears Scrooge attempts to convince himself that the Ghost did not come at all. Here Dickens is critiquing all of the upper class citizens in London. They lead their lives pretending that they had no obligations to help their fellow man, except possibly a giving a few pounds to the poor on Sundays. Whistling in the dark was how they lived their lives and this was exactly what Scrooge was attempting to do.

Natasha M. McKnight

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