Charles Dickens's American Audience by Robert McParland

By Robert McParland

Throughout the time whilst the yankee state used to be rising, the novels of a British writer Charles Dickens contributed considerably to the making of yankee tradition. the original contribution of Charles Dickens's American viewers is the point of interest upon the testimony of Dickens's American readers as a different analyzing neighborhood how his fiction intersected with their actual lives, how he impacted American publishing, literacy, and academic reform, and the way americans enjoyed the theatricality that Dickens dropped at their lives.

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Willis’s comments suggest that Dickens’s audience matched the people they saw in daily life with characters they read about in Dickens’s books. Dickens’s characters were alive in people’s imaginations in both the North and the South. His caricatures acted as a mirror, a model for representing the people that they encountered. For example, Sidney Andrews in The South Since the War (1866) writes of the Confederate vice-president: I saw Alexander H. Stephens today—a little old man with the most marvelous eyes, looking not so much like a human being as like a character from one of Dickens’s stories.

76) Likewise, poet and author Mary Abigail Dodge, writing as Gail Hamilton in 1866, refers to a character who with her causeless pugnacity, his harsh tones, and her theatric hard-tossed snovels, seemed a character just stepped out of Dickens rather than like a flesh and blood woman going to husband and children and sitting room and supper. (150) The appearances and the mannerisms of people trigger these readers’ associations with Dickens’s characters. For them, a Dickens character is sharply drawn, a caricature with exaggerated outward features or attributes.

Dickens” received the most votes, eight. They then balloted for a choice of his works and Pickwick Papers was chosen. Each member to read ten minutes at a time. 17 One can imagine the members of this club picking up their volumes of the Pickwick Papers and beginning to read: The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public career of the immortal Pickwick, would appear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the following entry in the transactions of the Pickwick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful attention, indefatiguable assiduity, and nice discrimination, with which his search among the multifarious documents confided to him has been conducted.

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