Dickens and Thackeray: Punishment and Forgiveness
Attitudes toward punishment and forgiveness in English society of the nineteenth century came, for the most part, out of Christianity. In actual experience the ideal was not often met, but in the literature of the time the model was important. For novelists attempting to tell exciting and dramatic stories, violent and criminal activities played an important role, and, according to convention, had to be corrected through poetic justice or human punishment. Both Dickens' and Thackeray's novels subscribed to the ideal, but dealt with the dilemma it presented in slightly different ways.
At a time when a great deal of attention has been directed toward economic production and consumption as the bases for value, Reed's well-documented study reviving moral belief as a legitimate concern for the analysis of nineteenth-century English texts is particularly illuminating.
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Charles Dickens , The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby ( London :
Oxford University Press , 1960 ) . 3 . Grahame Smith ' s Dickens , Money , and
Society ( Berkeley : The University of California Press , 1968 ) treats this subject
in a ...
and beyond human existence and founded on what Dickens believed to be a
pattern of divine justice . What I have tried to suggest throughout this work , and
wish to emphasize here because Martin Chuzzlewit is a flawed novel open to ...
Archibald C . Coolidge , Jr . calls attention to the importance of secrets in Martin
Chuzzlewit in Charles Dickens as a Serial Novelist ( Ames : Iowa University
Press , 1967 ) , 108 . 14 . Sylvère Monod details other clues to Jonas ' guilt and ...
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Attitudes Toward Punishment and Forgiveness
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