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 82
Is this fair to the steady Christian who has never strayed ? Robertson claims that
the virtuous person will enjoy peace in his heart . Though the heart rewon to
salvation may feel rapture , the religious man too should feel joy and thank God
Never , never more ! " ( 437 ) . Even after he discovers Steerforth ' s unworthiness
, David cannot help but love him . This continued affection is a strange feature of
David Copperfield , as is the benign treatment of its other wicked creatures .
It ' s impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was , because what you say can
never be exact , you always have to leave something out , there are too many
parts , sides , crosscurrents , nuances ; too many gestures , which could mean
What people are saying - Write a review
Attitudes Toward Punishment and Forgiveness
25 other sections not shown