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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primary function of the law regarding attempted suicides was therefore not to
punish the individual but to provide time for recovery and counselling . Part of this
increased attention to rehabilitation followed from the growing belief in the
Even the education and medical care provided through them become additional
means of disciplining individuals to the requirements of the ruling order . In
addition , the Poor Law administration was open to serious political abuse from
Yet this larger movement of the story is intimately related to the movement of
individual careers . The greatest historical guilt rests with the French aristocracy .
The most obvious thing about them in this novel is that they are self - indulgent ...
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Attitudes Toward Punishment and Forgiveness
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