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.
Results 1-3 of 77
Thus in the premiere Christmas Book , A Christmas Carol ( 1843 ) , Scrooge
comes on stage as a repulsive man , except perhaps for his sardonic wit . He
delights in being recognized as privately and publically uncharitable . Like Mr .
In her farewell letter to Ham , Em ' ly writes , “ In another world , if I am forgiven , I
may wake a child and come to you ” ( 785 ) . Everything at the end of the novel ...
David ' s lesson , to trust love , comes to him from Annie Strong . And he seems ...
But if these and other direct forecasts of what is to come suggest a known ,
predictable world , a second powerful tendency ... points her finger " as if it were
the finger of Fate ” at Lucie ' s child , but the implied doom never comes to pass (
253 ) .
What people are saying - Write a review
Attitudes Toward Punishment and Forgiveness
25 other sections not shown