A Collection of Essays - Charles Dickens Summary & Analysis

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Charles Dickens Summary

Part 1 - The writer and novelist Charles Dickens is widely critiqued in various ways. Nearly all reviewers, however, agree that Dickens was a social radical who attacked the fabric of several common social institutions of his time; even so, he remains a generally admired author. Orwell finds it remarkable that Dickens succeeded in attacking everybody without antagonizing anybody.

To better understand what Dickens accomplished, it is easiest to first enumerate what he did not attempt. Dickens does not write about the proletariat. Dickens is not a revolutionary writer - he maintains that society's ills are principally due to lack of morals, but he does not suggest an alterative system and, in fact, does not even suggest doing away with the established system. Dickens' body of work seems to suggest simply that if men would be decent, society would be decent. Orwell notes that throughout Dickens'...

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