Tag Archives: Charles Dickens

Women Making Sense of Their Lives

The female Bildungsroman arose to help women make sense of their lives in the feminist era.

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Will Oliver Finally Get Health Care?

Oliver Twist experiences the same ups and downs as Obamacare has. But there’s a happy ending.

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Top 10 Parent-Child Classics (Positive)

A top ten list of classics with positive depictions of parent-child relationships.

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Eliot (George), Hughes (Langston), Lee (Harper), Stowe (Harriet Beecher) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How Is Lit Useful? Let Me Count the Ways

A recent issue of “New Literary History” explores a number of ways that literature is useful.

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An Ideal Mother

When I think of a mother-son relationship that most matches my own, I think of Betsy Trotwood and David Copperfield.

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Woolf (Virginia) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dickens, We Need You (and Also FDR)

With unemployment insurance set to run out next week, it’s time to invoke Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol.” FDR did so.

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Martin = Copperfield, Incognito = Steerforth

The scene in “David Copperfield” where Steerforth bullies a sensitive teacher provides insight into the Miami Dolphins’ Incognito-Martin case.

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Dickens’ Children Expose Class Unfairness

Charles Dickens’ Sissy Jupe, in her innocence, could teach the GOP something about its insensitivity to the needs of the poor.

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E. W. Jackson, a Modern Day Bounderby

Virginia lieutenant governor candidate E. W. Jackson appears to be attempting a fraud worthy of Dickens’ Josiah Bounderby.

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Lit’s Ten Most Sensitive Guys

To match my 10 strongest literary women characters, here are my 10 most sensitive male characters.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Baldwin (James), Dickens (Charles), Dostoevsky (Fyodor), Fielding (Henry), Fitzgerald (F. Scott), McCarthy (Cormac), Melville (Herman), Milton (John), Steinbeck (John) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

I Have Found My Sheep that Was Lost

Dickens draws on the parable of the lost sheep in shaping “David Copperfield.”

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Poetry vs. Death’s Madness

In the face of death, poetry stands as a bulwark against dissolution, chaos, and madness.

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Dunnett (Dorothy), McGrath (Thomas), O'Driscoll (Ciaran), Vonnegut (Kurt) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Waiting for the Tide to Turn

Dickinson, Coleridge and Dickens come to mind as we await the moment of my father’s death.

Posted in Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Dickens (Charles), Dickinson (Emily) | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Parental Rule #1: Respect Your Child

“David Copperfield” enjoins us to respect the interiority of children.

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Novels for When We Need Them the Most

I read “David Copperfield” before entering high school. I didn’t know that it would anticipate some of my unhappy experiences there.

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Are There No Emergency Rooms?

Scrooge asks, “Are there no workhouses?” Today’s GOP asks, “Are there no emergency rooms?”

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Compassion for the Poor Is Not Enough

Speaking with the head as well as the heart against oppressive class conditions is necessary in novels as in public policy.

Posted in Dickens (Charles) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gradgrind Takes Over English Classes

The new Common Core State Standards are pushing literature out of English classes.

Posted in Dickens (Charles) | Also tagged , , | 5 Comments

Joe Biden Debates Bounderby

In last night’s, Joe Biden found himself up against a modern-day version of Dickens’ Bounderby from “Hard Times.”

Posted in Dickens (Charles) | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Road Less Traveled? Nope

Perhaps some entrepreneurs need to believe their success is solely due to their own efforts, as Bounderby, Willy Loman, and the speaker of “The Road Not Taken” do.

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Frost (Robert), Miller (Arthur) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Who Is Your Favorite Dickens Character?

Characters from Dickens novels reside so deeply within us as to become virtual lifelong friends.

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High Schoolers and Great Expectations

“Great Expectations” is a perfect novel to teach high school students.

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Dickens Puts Lawyers on Trial

Charles Dickens was especially severe on lawyers, who show up in 11 of his 15 novels.

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Dickens Helped Shape Our Christmas

Charles Dickens helped solidify the idea of Christmas in the minds of 19th century England by his descriptions in “The Pickwick Papers.”

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Deficit Plan: No Food Stamps for the Rich

The “New Yorker’s” Hendrik Herzberg has a perfect Anatole France quotation for Republican plans to pay for extending the payroll tax exemption.

Posted in France (Anatole) | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gingrich Auditions for a Dickens Villain

Newt Gingrich’s proposal that poor children be allowed to serve as janitors in their schools calls for a Dickensian response.

Posted in Dickens (Charles) | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Quixote’s Battle for Imagination

In a short poem about about Sancho Panza and one of the windmills, Scott Bates describes Don Quixote’s sidekick as common sense reality robbing life of imagination.

Posted in Bates (Scott), Cervantes (Miguel de) | Also tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Novels and Baseball Fans, Fixated on Time

As I watched the amazing day of baseball last Wednesday, I found myself thinking (being the literature nerd that I am) that the English novel was invented to do justice to reality when it got this dramatic and complex.

Posted in Defoe (Daniel), Dickens (Charles), Fielding (Henry), Sterne (Lawrence) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It Sucks to Be Poor

Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” offers a response to those who want to blame the recession on the poor.

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Warren Buffett, Dickensian Philanthropist

Warren Buffett’s op-ed article that the wealthy should pay more taxes is reminding me of Charles Dickens’ benevolent philanthropists, especially Mr. Brownlow in “Oliver Twist.”

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What Fictional Fantasy Means

Having taught British Fantasy Literature for the first time last semester, I need to think back on it before it becomes a distant memory.    By reflecting publicly, I can share some of the insights I gained from the course. Two major things I learned are that (1) fantasy is an oppositional genre—by which I […]

Posted in Andersen (Hans Christian), Barrie (J. M.), Carroll (Lewis), Chaucer (Geoffrey), Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Dickens (Charles), Grahame (Kenneth), Grimm Brothers, Haggard (Rider), Keats (John), Kipling (Rudyard), Rossetti (Christina), Shakespeare (William), Sir Gawain Poet, Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Tolkien (J.R.R.) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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