Dickens - Dickens' ultimate attack is not on the Chancery...

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Unformatted text preview: Dickens' ultimate attack is not on the Chancery Court. The workings (or misworkings) of Chancery do, as Dickens makes perfectly clear, constitute a major evil; Dickens savagely condemns that particular institution. But a larger issue is involved. Chancery itself in fact, the whole system of Law is also a symbol. Similarly, the fog is a symbol of Chancery and also of all similar institutions and operations; in other words, both Chancery and the fog symbolize the "dead hand" of the past of custom and tradition. The dead hand of the past is a hand that continues to kill in the present. The point has never been better made than by Edgar Johnson in Charles Dickens : His Tragedy and Triumph (1952), which remains the greatest of all biographies of Dickens: "both law and fog are fundamentally symbols of all the ponderous and murky forces that suffocate the creative energies of mankind. They prefigure all the ponderous and murky forces that suffocate the creative energies of mankind....
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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