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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Retributivists consider punishment justified as an intrinsic response to an offense
, whereas consequentialists see punishment in terms of its contingent benefits .
The Utilitarian attitude toward punishment , beginning with Jeremy Bentham , is ...
These articles were in response to a positivist paper by Frederic Harrison , but
not even High Anglican or Catholic respondents mentioned hell . Still , there were
many who adhered to the concept of eternal punishment , among them John ...
Esther ' s response is the correct Christian response , a fact emphasized by the
circumstances under which Esther first encounters her mother . As Lawrence
Frank explains , “ The meeting occurs in the church near Chesney Wold and is ...
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Attitudes Toward Punishment and Forgiveness
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