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Realism vs Romanticism in Oliver Twist

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Realism vs Romanticism in Oliver Twist by Herminne Tonita -

Charles Dickens was in many respects the ordinary Englishman of the Middle Class, transformed by an unique unrepeatable genius. He was an accurate observer and had a clear eye for details, his artistically world being inhabited by a variety of human types. Although some critics consider him a pure romantic, a more balanced view will see him as a realist writer, who was influenced by the Romanticism.

He was a man of obsessions, which can be traced all through his work. He was haunted by the idea of the lonely child, the prison, the thought of violence. On the one hand, he was a Romantic writer as his emotional attitude towards his characters is one of the peculiar quality of his novels. He combines humour with feelings, with realistic and dramatic element s of life. On the other hand, he was a realistic writer as he clearly presented the working conditions of the poor in Victorian times: long hours, low wages, child labor, appalling slums and the almost total neglect of public health produced an urban working class who was ill-nourished and ignorant.

Furthermore, Charles Dickens is a great writer because his sensibility and outlook are adopted by his contemporaries. He is a "realist" because attempts a minute presentation of details, facts, phenomena. But he is not a realist like the French writers of the period. For Dickens, reality is just a starting point because he transforms it by means of imagination. He relies on his own ideas, that reality is a state of permanent flux, morals included.

On the contrary, Dickens believed in the change of heart that people in his novels ultimately suffer. He believed in the goodness of man. An evil-dower might, under the pressure of life, change in his work and the change is abrupt, wherefrom Dickens proves to be a romantic and not so much a realist. He looks at people while passing in the streets of a large city. They are surprised in grotesque moments.

Nevertheless, as Dickens started as a journalist, he had to retain the essential features of people. The so-called caricature or cartoon quality of his prose has a basis: here is Dickens's realism. He renders snatches of conversation, the Cockeney in the slums is recorded exactly as he presents people belonging to all the lower levels.

In conclusion, Dickens had to present not the life scene of everybody, but something exceptional, which is to be found in the streets of Victorian London: mysterious cases, extreme situations. He searched for violence, theft, miraculous escapes, which make up the sensational journalist side of human experience. In the end, all of his books allow the readers' expectations to release. Ultimately, the atmosphere turns into a festive one.

Realism vs Romanticism in Oliver Twist written by Herminne Tonita for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: realism, romanticism, oliver twist, charles dickens



Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 02 February '07


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