Category Archives: Dickens (Charles)

Clean Air Is Bad for the Nation?!

Republicans complaining about clean air regulations recall the Coketown mill owners in Dickens’ “Hard Times.”

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Social Media Invades the Classics

Imagining literary characters using social media opens up new insights into a work.

Also posted in Bronte (Charlotte), Mitchell (Margaret) | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Famous Fetish Objects in Lit

Literature is filled with fetish objects that take on outsized significance to various characters.

Also posted in Fielding (Henry), Poe (Edgar Allan), Pope (Alexander), Proust (Marcel), Rushdie (Salman), Shakespeare (William), Sir Gawain Poet, Wycherley (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Books about People Reading Books

Books about books give readers a sense that they are part of a larger community.

Also posted in Austen (Jane), Bronte (Charlotte), Grahame (Kenneth), Milne (A. A.), Nesbitt (E.), Ransome (Arthur), Stevenson (Robert Louis), Twain (Mark) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Also posted in Eliot (George), Hughes (Langston), Lee (Harper), Stowe (Harriet Beecher) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Ideal Mother

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

Also posted in Woolf (Virginia) | 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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What Dickens Would Say to Today’s GOP

Government support for me but not for thee–the Dickens of “Hard Times” would understand today’s GOP.

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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.

Also posted in Austen (Jane), Baldwin (James), Dostoevsky (Fyodor), Fielding (Henry), Fitzgerald (F. Scott), McCarthy (Cormac), Melville (Herman), Milton (John), Steinbeck (John) | 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.

Also posted in Dunnett (Dorothy), McGrath (Thomas), O'Driscoll (Ciaran), Vonnegut (Kurt) | 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.

Also posted in Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Dickinson (Emily) | 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.

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Gradgrind Takes Over English Classes

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

Posted in Dickens (Charles) | 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) | 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.

Also posted in Frost (Robert), Miller (Arthur) | 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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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.

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Mitt Romney, an American Podsnap

Charles Dickens has a character who resembles Mitt Romney when he states that he believes in American exceptionalism while Barack Obama doesn’t: John Podsnap in “Our Mutual Friend.”

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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.

Also posted in Defoe (Daniel), Fielding (Henry), Sterne (Lawrence) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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