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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not voluntarily die , we also know that he was fundamentally self - destructive and
that the course of his life so directly led to the kind of end he met that , morally , he
was a species of suicide . Evil , the message goes , consumes itself . Quilp is ...
Of course Magwitch ' s case is very different from Miss Havisham ' s , but their
careers parallel one another . And proof that Magwitch is not fully rehabilitated is
his final execution of “ justice " upon Compeyson . Of course , he too must " pay .
Young Jane Eyre , when abused by John Reed , strikes back . She has a long
way to go as a Victorian heroine , but she travels the course . Years later , when
John Reed is dead from dissipations , Jane revisits the Reed household to find ...
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Attitudes Toward Punishment and Forgiveness
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