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Scholarship on Dickens - Essay Example

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In those days, London was described as the doomed city with unsanitary living conditions and was a galore of diseases. “There were four epidemics of cholera within Dickens’s own lifetime and, beside these mortal visitations, there were periodic and regular outbreaks of typhus, typhoid fever, epidemic diarrhoea, dysentery, smallpox and a variety of ailments which were classified only as “fevers”.2” To improve the health condition of the people of London and other cities that were the main breeding ground for all diseases that would spread later to the rural areas of England, Dickens knew that sanitary conditions of the cities should improve. We see him attending many meetings to talk on behalf of sanitary improvement. Passionately arguing the case of sanitary reform in London on May 10th 1851, Charles Dickens said: “I can honestly declare that the use I have since that time made of my eyes and nose have only strengthened the conviction that certain sanitary reforms must precede all other social remedies, and that
neither education nor religion can do anything useful until the way has been paved for their ministrations by cleanliness and decency.3” Sanitary work in London and other cities started only in his latter life.
He was an influential social reformer of his time in many fields and being so very well-known, his views were respected. His characters of imagination provided him ample platform to argue the social reforms that he craved to see in the difficult times of Victorian England. His magazines and speeches on social injustice show him as one of the main propagandists of the time. He advocated the reforms without being specific about them. His desire was to see any kind of relief to the sufferers. For example; the Hard Times was based on a labour dispute in the weaving industry which was referred as “The Preston Lockout 1853-54”. According to George Bernard Shaw, ‘he was a revolutionary without knowing it4’. In a ...Show more
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Summary

He was uninterested in politics; but thought that politics could pave the way to social justice and reforms that were badly needed in the Victorian society. No other…
Scholarship on Dickens
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