Dickens's novels

Are Dickens’s Novels A Representation Or Depiction Of The Society?

Charles Dickens Literary
Dickens's novels
Charles Dickens and Dickens’s novels

How should one define Dickens’s novels? Do his novels act like representing the society of his time? Or, they merely depict human society as it appeared during his days.

It is hard for a reader to designate Charles Dickens’s works with a specific way of expression. Searching on the internet must show many eminent literary authors and critics’ important opinions about it. Some have certified Dickens as the best representative among the Victorian novelists.

However, opposite views are also available from several critics. According to them, the famous Victorian novelist has merely portrayed society’s ills. Some critics have even tried to pinpoint the limitation of his works. They have outlined them as drawbacks in Dickens’s novels.

But, the truth is modern-day readers still identify Dickens’s novels as the best mirror of public life during the Victorian era. Moreover, the author’s portrayal of human life with a humane viewpoint is valuable. In addition, a high-yielding and innocent nature is inevitably the backbone of Charles Dickens’s realistic imagination.

Charles Dickens was perhaps the sole English writer of the Victorian era who remained so popular in his lifetime. And the best thing was readers of all classes, be it poor or rich, admired his writings. His novel ‘Hard Times’ is one such exceptionally appealing and most adorable piece of work even today.

‘Hard Times’ has inarguably portrayed the English society with reality and satire. Readers even accept it as a survey of human life. The socio-economic atmosphere of the Victorian period is perfectly acute and refined in every word of it. Also, the portrayal shows the novelist never lost his empathy and concern for the impoverished and mistreated people.

Most of the admired novels of Charles Dickens uncover the seamy side of London society. The contents of these works include inhabitants of the slums, poor and their poverty-stricken houses, the debtors, and the mistreated humans. In a word, Dickens’s novels are full of stark realism. Nonetheless, there is a soft, innocent touch of humour in them.

Now, the question is why the sense of hilarity seems soft and kind. The answer is the writer never opted to appear rigidly satirical. His intention was never to produce a bitter sense of satire. The novel ‘Hard Times’ is an excellent example exhibiting Dickens’s idealistic nature.

As a writer, he tried to represent human life through his words in the said novel. But his word depiction unveiled his preference in dealing with the most dejected social situation in an idealistic tone. In reality, his idealism is indeed acute in his drawing. And a reader can see how the novelist’s perception recognizes the possession of sympathetic and concerned feelings. On the one hand, it means the English author is a representative, and on the other hand, he depicts his saying. His words have made him the sculptor of human life, surpassing the barriers of all classes in society. And it is one reason why Dickens’s novels are hugely popular even in the present day.

As a conscious human being and writer, Dickens tried to draw an accurate, realistic picture of his society through his novels. His words emerged as exposing the miseries in the slums and the lower class of Victorian English society. Through a refined representation and depiction, the novelist made an honest effort to call public attention to these facts from the beginning.

The eminent English author neither supported nor endorsed the industrial system of his time. He believed in genuinely eradicating the badness and depravity in the vital legal system. And so, he never approved any eye washing propaganda regarding the elimination of the evils in the said system. Furthermore, with a decent tone, he disapproved of the deplorable and dismal conditions in the factories and the workhouses.

His expression in his novels represented his views and established him as an intensely acceptable social writer. Yes, a social writer who always kept his trust or belief in the conscience and morality of human character. In short, he believed in the goodness of humanity. Apart from being an author, Dickens emerged as a humanitarian. In a word, he represented his humane viewpoint. And simultaneously, he depicted his action as a reformer through his writings. The stories of Dickens’s novels bear a sense of realism that enhances their acceptance among the readers of all decades. The narratives are so attractive that readers feel them as if these happened only a day before. The stories’ representation is so unique that a reader can perceive them in front of the eyes while reading those tales.  

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