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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It also signals an alliance between Rose and Oliver that will slowly extend itself to
other good characters in the novel , and that will be certified by the revelation of
their actual kinship . The introduction of Rose and all she represents also ...
Just as his son represents the moral confusions of his society , Rudge senior
represents the incorporation of God ' s justice . He feels like a hunted beast , but
though humans may be trying to hunt him down , the real hunting / haunting is
But the circus represents only a few provinces in the realm of Fancy . Sissy is the
spokesperson for imagination at the personal level . She represents the way
imagination begets sympathy and understanding of others , and hence a capacity
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Attitudes Toward Punishment and Forgiveness
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