Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||The Moral Criticism of Industrial Society in Selected Novels of Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell|
|Authors:||Boire, Gary A.|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>My purpose in this thesis is to examine the moral nature of the social criticism found in selected novels of Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell. The works primarily dealt with share a common focus on the quantity of life in mid nineteenth-century industrial society. These are The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41), Hard Times (1854), Mary Barton (1848), and North and South (1854-55). The exclusion of Sleak House (1852-53) and Little Dorrit (1855-57) is a deliberate one, the limitations of time and space being a major factor. The inclusion of The Old Curiosity Shop is an attempt to evaluate a novel long regarded as a low point of eccentricity in the Dickens canon. The position taken herein is that it represents a major milestone in Dickens' imaginative development. Viewed as an embryonic type of novel, its social criticism can be seen as an initial attempt to come to grips with the world of Victorian society. It both continues the concerns of the earlier novels and anticipates the major developments of the later works.</p> <p>Occasionally in the thesis I refer to novels outside the purview of the primary works, particularly in my treatment of Dickens ideas of "benevolence" and imaginative sympathy. An attempt is made to evaluate the quality of the moral position in contrast to a political radicalism such as that of Marx or Engels. I have tried to do this by means of an analysis of the novels concerned, and by relating these novels to each other, to the moral nature of Dickens and Mrs Gaskell's thought, and to the culture to which both authors belong.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
Items in MacSphere are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.