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Pre-Twentieth Century Prose - An Interview with Charles Dickens.

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Year 10 Pre-Twentieth Century Prose An Interview with CHARLES DICKENS Could you tell the audience a bit about yourself? I was born in Landport, Portsmouth on the seventh of February 1812. My parents are John and Elizabeth and I was christened Charles. I was nine years of age when I first started attending the William Giles School in Chatham. My father, John was imprisoned in Marshalsea prison for debt I was sent to a workhouse called Warren's Blacking factory. I was twelve years of age. Seeing such poverty after being brought up in the middle class was a shock and memories from those times have haunted me ever since. During my time at the factory I earned very little. "I am not sure whether it was six or seven shillings. I am inclined to believe, from my uncertainty on this head, that it was six at first and seven afterwards." 1 When I was old enough I started work as an attorney's clerk. This was another point in my life when I was exposed to the cruelty of the rich poor divide. ...read more.


I also wanted to show my readers that the justice system does not alter people. This came across well in Rose's speech before the court, "'But even if he has been wicked,' pursed Rose, 'think how young he is, think that he may never have known a mother's love, or the comfort of a home, and that ill-usage and blows, or the want of bread, may have driven him to herd with men who have forced him to guilt. Aunt, dear aunt, for mercy's sake, think of this, before you let them drag this sick child to a prison, which in any case must be the grave of all his chances of amendment.'" 3 There are also many minor themes, such as, the Poor Laws, poverty, crime in general, prostitution and economic disparity. Would you say the themes are still relevant to today's audiences and if so why? I think they are important from a historical aspect as they can educate the readers about life under Queen Victoria's reign but they are also very important in the modern world as it is still important to have morals and stick to them and most of the themes I use have moral aspects to them. ...read more.


My works also contain hidden messages, which are important to anybody, especially the younger generation. Oliver Twist teaches young people about justice and social justice, something people need to know about no matter what class they are or what era they come from. In this quote, today's younger audience are taught that they do not only need to be aware of controlling their own wrongdoings but helping others amend their wrongdoings, "Oh! If when we oppress and grind our fellow creatures, we bestowed but one thought on the dark evidences of human error, which, like dense and heavy clouds, are rising, slowly it is true, but not less surely, to Heaven, to pour their after-vengeance on our heads; if we heard but one instant, in imagination, the deep testimony of dead men's voices, which no power can stifle, and no pride shut out; where would be the injury and injustice, the suffering, misery, cruelty, and wrong, that each day's life brings with it." 5 1. http://www.talkingto.co.uk/ttcd/html/ttcd_answ.asp?quesID=1886&CatID=215 2. http://www.talkingto.co.uk/ttcd/html/ttcd_answ.asp?quesID=1330&CatID=215 3. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens 4. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens 5. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens ...read more.

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