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An Appreciation of the Short Story ‘The Black Veil’ by Charles Dickens

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An Appreciation of the Short Story 'The Black Veil' by Charles Dickens Charles Dickens, as a novel writer, is renown for writing in excessive amounts in order to describe people or the atmosphere, or for setting scenes. However, in his short stories, such as 'The Black Veil', he has to keep the story short, and so cannot afford to go into as much detail as he would prefer. However, being one of the great authors of all time, he still manages to create classic works in just a few pages. 'The Black Veil' is approximately 10 pages long, which, compared with Dickens' novels, is very short indeed, even smaller than a usual chapter in a novel. ...read more.


However, it does mention a character called Rose, who the surgeon wishes to marry. This outlines the surgeon's aims in life, and also his problems. 'Then he began to wonder when his first patient would appear or whether he was destined, by a special dispensation of providence, never to have any patients at all. In this opening paragraph, Dickens has set the scene and has added the start of a plot through a, at this point, very vague character. The next paragraph introduces another character who is intended by Dickens to add both tension and a comical effect to the story. The character has very little description, but from what there is, the reader imagines a chubby little boy eating peppermints all day. ...read more.


Dickens makes the woman sound desperate and deeply concerned for the person she talks of, but he does not reveal why the woman will not let the surgeon see the man. 'Tomorrow morning he of whom I speak will be I know, though I would fain think otherwise, beyond the reach of human aid; and yet, tonight, though he is in deadly peril, you must not and could not serve him.' Dickens continues to keep the reader confused, not giving away the reason why the surgeon cannot help the man, constantly repeating the fact that he is going to die before tomorrow, but he cannot be helped until tomorrow. Dickens then issues some possibilities of why the man cannot be seen, or helped until tomorrow. He does this to keep the reader thinking and to keep them interested. ...read more.

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