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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TWENTY - FIVE The Adventures of Philip AS ITS FULL title suggests , The
Adventures of Philip on his way through the world shewing who robbed him , who
helped him , and who passed him by concentrates on a specific feature of the
The describer and biographer of my friend Philip Firmin has tried to extenuate
nothing ; and , I hope , has set down naught in malice ” ( 11 : 52 ) . He has not
disguised Philip ' s bad points , for example , and certainly has not minimized his
And the offputting Philip Ringwood continues his inexplicable social successes .
Even Mrs . Baynes , the dragon of Philip ' s story , may have a story of her own to
tell . I hope he [ Philip ] has revenged himself by presenting coals of fire to his ...
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Attitudes Toward Punishment and Forgiveness
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