Category Archives: Dickens (Charles)

Detecting the Person behind the Poetry

What we find when we look for the person behind the literary work.

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Why Baltimore Blacks Are Down and Out

Black poverty in Baltimore has racial causes that are invisible to most people. Dickens would understand.

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GOP Budget Proposes Gruel Cuts

Mean-spirited legislators who seek to cut food stamps and other programs for the poor bear more than a little resemblance to the workhouse authorities in “Oliver Twist.”

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The Return of Debtor Imprisonment?!

The fleecing by authorities of the Ferguson Black community, including imprisonment for debt, puts one in mind of Charles Dickens’ “Little Dorrit.”

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Dickens Understood Resentment Well

When resentment threatens to hijack our politics, we would do well to turn to Dickens’ “Little Dorrit.”

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Dickens & Our Irresponsible Financiers

“Little Dorrit” is a timely novel about a society plunged into ruin by the shenanigans of financial “wizards.”

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Count to Five-and-Twenty, Tattycoram

Working with my grandson’s during a meltdown brought to mind the strategy used to calm Tattycoram in “Little Dorrit.”

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Dickens Returned Christmas to Its Roots

Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” returned the Christmas celebration to its medieval folk roots.

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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.

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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.”

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