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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tian charity . He is a marked example of a type that recurs in Dickens ' fiction .
Stephen Blackpool in Hard Times is another , less fortunate version . But if Tom
Pinch behaves charitably , the one character who might be expected by her
name to ...
This outlook is deeply embedded in the Judeo - Christian faith founded on the
concept of original sin . Snagsby ' s form of relief from bad conscience is not
confession or self - committal , but surreptitious charity . In such a way the faithful
He even engages in some compensatory charity , becoming Herbert ' s secret
benefactor , a genuine gesture of affection and generosity in contrast to the more
problematic secret source of his own comfortable position . Secret benefaction
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Attitudes Toward Punishment and Forgiveness
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