Little Dorrit: eBook Edition

Jazzybee Verlag
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Little Dorrit was published 1856-57, when the author's popularity was at its height. The plot is a slight one on which to hang more than fifty characters. The author began with the intention of emphasizing the fact that individuals brought together by chance, if only for an instant, continue henceforth to influence and to act and react upon one another. But this original motive is soon altogether forgotten in the multiplication of characters and the relation of their fortunes. The central idea is to portray the experiences of the Dorrit family, immured for many years on account of debt in the old Marshalsea Prison, and then unexpectedly restored to wealth and freedom. Having been pitiable in poverty, they become arrogant and contemptible in affluence. Amy, "Little Dorrit," alone remains pure, lovable, and self-denying. In her, Dickens embodies the best human qualities in a most beautiful and persuasive form. She enlists the love of Arthur Clennam, who meantime has had his own trials. Returning from India, after long absence, he finds his mother a religious fanatic, domineered over by the hypocritical old Flintwinch, and both preyed upon by the Mephistophelian Blandois, perhaps the most dastardly villain in the whole Dickens gallery. The complications, however, end happily for Arthur and Amy. The main attack of the book is aimed against official "red tape" as exemplified in the Barnacle family and the "Circumlocution Office." ...
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Jazzybee Verlag
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Published on
Dec 31, 2014
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A Tale of Two Cities differs essentially from all of Dickens' other novels in style and manner of treatment. Forster, in his 'Life of Dickens,' writes that "there is no instance in his novels excepting this, of a deliberate and planned departure from the method of treatment which had been pre-eminently the source of his popularity as a novelist." To rely less upon character than upon incident, and to resolve that his actors should be expressed by the story more than they should express themselves by dialogue, was for him a hazardous, and can hardly be called an entirely successful, experiment. With singular dramatic vivacity, much constructive art, and with descriptive passages of a high order everywhere, there was probably never a book by a great humorist, and an artist so prolific in conception, with so little humor and so few remarkable figures. Its merit lies elsewhere. The two cities are London and Paris. The time is just before and during the French Revolution. A peculiar chain of events knits and interweaves the lives of a "few simple, private people" with the outbreak of a terrible public event. Dr. Manette has been a prisoner in the Bastille for eighteen years, languishing there, as did so many others, on some vague unfounded charge. His release when the story opens, his restoration to his daughter Lucie, the trial and acquittal of one Charles Darnay, nephew of a French marquis, on a charge of treason, the marriage of Lucie Manette to Darnay,— these incidents form the introduction to the drama of blood which is to follow. Two friends of the Manette family complete the circle of important characters: Mr.
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