By Pauline Hernandez,2014-04-16 05:04
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    1. Charles Dickens

    Dickens, Charles John Huffam (1812-1870), probably the best-known and, to many people, the greatest English novelist of the 19th century. A moralist, satirist, and social reformer, Dickens crafted complex plots and striking characters that capture the panorama of English society.

    Dickens’s novels criticize the injustices of his time, especially the brutal treatment of the poor in a society sharply divided by differences of wealth. But he presents this criticism through the lives of characters that seem to live and breathe. The 20th-century poet and critic T. S. Eliot wrote, “Dickens’s characters are real because there is no one like them.”

    Dickens’s novels rank among the funniest and most gripping ever written, among the most passionate and persuasive on the topic of social justice, and among the most psychologically telling and insightful works of fiction. They are also some of the most masterful works in terms of artistic form, including narrative structure, repeated motifs (主题), consistent imagery, juxtaposition (并列) of symbols, stylization of

    characters and settings, and command of language.

    Dickens was born in Portsmouth, on England’s southern coast. His father was a clerk in the British Navy pay officea respectable position, but with little social


    Charles Dickens literary life can be divided into three periods:

    The first period

    1836 Sketches by Boz

    1836-1837 The Pickwick Papers

    1837-1838 Oliver Twist

    1838-1839 Nicholas Nickleby

    1840-1841 The Old Curiosity Shop

    1841 Barnaby Rudge

     The second period

    1842 American Notes

    1843-1845 Martin Chuzzlewit

    1843 A Christmas Carol (a Christmas book)

    1844 The Chines (a Christmas book)

    1845 The Cricket on the Hearth (a Christmas book)

    1846-1848 Dombey and Son

    1849-1850 David Copperfield

    The third period

    1852-1853 Bleak House

    1854 Hard Times

    1855-1857 Little Dorrit

    1859 A Tale of Two Cities

    1860-1861 Great Expectations

    1864-1865 Our Mutual Friend

    1870 Edwin Drood (unfinished)

    Main features of Dickens’s Novels

    1. A Master of story-teller

    2. A Master of character-portrayal

    a. He is best at child character portrayal

    b. He is good at description of horrible and grotesque (奇怪的) figures.

    ) 3. a Master of Humour and Pathos(悲怅

    Points of View

    Dickens is a typical middle-class man. As the representative of the middle-class, he draws strength from his middle-class audience; he adores them, delights to please them, and accepts the validity of their judgment. So Dickens’s social attitudes are very complex. He wants improvement in the life of the poor, but is afraid of a real revolution.

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