Our Mutual Friend | Critical Essay by Patrick O'Donnell

This literature criticism consists of approximately 50 pages of analysis & critique of Our Mutual Friend.
This section contains 14,953 words
(approx. 50 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Patrick O'Donnell

SOURCE: “‘A Speeches of Chaff’: Ventriloquy and Expression in Our Mutual Friend,” in Dickens Studies Annual, Vol. 19, 1990, pp. 247-79.

In the following essay, O'Donnell examines issues of ventriloquy and representation of narrative voice in Our Mutual Friend, suggesting that identity and relationships are called into question continuously throughout the novel.

In an age of public spectacle for which P. T. Barnum serves as the ultimate exemplar, Dickens' novels provide a succession of forays into the spectacular. The spectacle can be viewed as a displacement of “private” anxieties and fantasies onto the public stage. The authorial dream of omnipotence, for example, is represented in spectacle via the guise of the master of entertainments or the entrepreneur. This dream is countered by the illusory heterogeneity of the entertainment itself which...

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This section contains 14,953 words
(approx. 50 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Patrick O'Donnell