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Unformatted text preview: Most of Dickens' readers had strong religious and ethical convictions. The Victorian middle class, at all levels, was heavily Protestant. Most of the "dissenting" churches (for example, Methodism and Congregationalism, those outside the established Church of England) were evangelical, and even the established church had been notably influenced by evangelical religion. Evangelicals emphasized, among other things, strict moral behavior; they felt a need to make such behavior highly, sometimes even aggressively visible. Their approach to temptation and evil was like the approach to a contagious disease; the unfortunates who had "fallen" were to be avoided and denounced. Generally, evangelicals wanted to be (at the very least, to seem) not just "good" people but models of goodness, exemplars of righteousness and to live only amongst other such models. but models of goodness, exemplars of righteousness and to live only amongst other such models....
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- Fall '08