Charles Dickens: life and novels


Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. When he was ten his family moved to London, when his father was sent to prison for debt. At the age of 12, Charles was forced to leave school and work as apprendice in a factory. After working in a legal office, he started to wrote for comic newspapers and he was entered in serious journalism. He was the best representative of early Victorian poets. He traveled in the USA, Italy and France and he died in 1870.

Themes of Dickens' novels:

Dickens' novels deal with the social problems of his Age: the political incompetence, the poverty and suffering of the masses, the gap between reach and poor, prison, the exploitation of women's work, life in the workhouses, crime in town and the overcrowded town.
An example is Oliver Twist (1837-1838), which recounts the suffering of an orphan brought up in a workhouse who runs away to London and joins a gang of thieves made up of children.

Setting of his novels:

His novels present a variety of settings: the provincial towns, the industrial settlements; typical setting is London, the crowded city with a large gap between rich and poor.

Characters and plots:

In his noverls Dickens represents expecially flet characters, like vagabonds, criminals and orphans. The upper classes are not very deeply, infact his characters are mainly from the lower and middle classes. The characters are divided in good and bad. The plots of his novels are full of intrigue, mystery and incredible concidences.

Dickens' style:

He is very good at mixing social criticism combining the pathetic with comic. The main strenght of Dickens' style is his humor and melodramatic or openly didactic passages.

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