9-1 lecture Dickens

9-1 lecture Dickens - Last time: How Boz led readers...

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Last time: How “Boz” led readers through the London streets, showing social class variety [see Cruikshank drawings] Keeps us (readers) somewhat distant from what is being shown through humor and irony But through the mechanism of walking combines those things that are usually kept separate creating story This paradox (separate / connected) reflects two different but related concerns played out in the mid-to-late- 19 th -century city: The poor as OTHER (specimen) The unhealthy CIRCULATION of the city (disease) OTHER: We’ve already mentioned the way the DIVISION of London (as well as segregation by time & task, as we saw in “The Streets—Morning”) kept the poor and the conditions of the poor largely out of sight. • By mid-century, rich and poor depicted as “Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets” –Benjamin Disraeli, 1841 --exotic --disgusting --scary --potentially politically threatening
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• So information-gathering necessary to counter possible revolutionary threat; “reform” impulse also the impulse to
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This note was uploaded on 06/14/2011 for the course ENGL 283 taught by Professor Geiskes during the Fall '08 term at South Carolina.

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9-1 lecture Dickens - Last time: How Boz led readers...

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