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|Title:||Characer Types in Selected Novels by Dickens|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis is intended to explore the relationship between Dickens's use of 'type' characters and the portrayal of goodness in his novels. The 'benevolent old man', the 'impulsive young hero', and the 'good and simple man' are identified as Dicken's primary 'types' of 'goodness', and their development is traced over the course of selected novels ranging from Pickwick Papers to Great Expectations.</p> <p>Dickens's original formulation of goodness is a simple one and his naivete as well as his artistic immaturity is reflected in characters, like the Cheeryble brothers, whose uni-dimensional virtue ultimately renders them absurd. Over the course of his many novels Dickens develops a more complex moral view that endeavours to explore the interplay of good and evil within the individual. Great Expectation's Magwitch is, perhaps, the best example of the increasing moral complexity of Dickens's art.</p> <p>This thesis also examines the journey of the 'impulsive young hero', another of Dickens's 'types' of 'goodness', from dependence upon the providential figure to self-determination and moral autonomy. Early heroes like Nicholas Nickleby and<br />Martin Chuzzlewit remain subordinate to the will of the 'benevolent old man' in order to guarantee their future prospects. As Dickens matures as a novelist, however, the 'benevolent old man' becomes an increasingly less powerful figure and, as a result, the hero is forced to become more responsible for his cwn existence. Through his rejection of Magwitch's fortune in Great Expectations Pip constitutes the final movement in the hero's search for self-determination.</p> <p>As the 'benevolent old man' appears in increasingly abrogated forms the 'good and simple man', the final Dickensian type of goodness that is discussed in this study, becomes the representative of the pure virtue that was formerly the province of the providential figure. The 'good and simple man', is, however, invariably a member of the lower classes and his social helplessness reflects Dickens' gradually declining faith in an ameliorative middle class.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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