The Life Of Charles Dickens (1113 words) Essay

The Life of Charles DickensINTRODUCTION
This report will talk about the life of a famous author,
Charles Dickens. It will tell you about his early, middle,
and later years of his life. It will also talk about one of
his great works of literature. In conclusion, this report
will show a comparison of his work to his life.

Charles Dickens was born at Landport, in Portsea, on
February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the Navy
Pay-Office, and was temporarily on duty in the neighborhood
when Charles was born. His name was John Dickens. He spent
time in prison for debts. But, even when he was free
he lacked the money to support his family. Then, when
Charles was two they moved to London. 1
Just before he started to toddle, he stepped into the glare
of footlights. He never stepped out of it until he died. He
was a good man, as men go in the bewildering world of ours,
brave, transparent, tender-hearted, and honorable. Dickens
was always a little too irritable because he was a little
too happy. Like the over-wrought child in society, he was
splendidly sociable, and in and yet sometimes quarrelsome.
In all the practical relations of his life he was what the
child is at a party, genuinely delighted, delightful,
affectionate and happy, and in some strange way
fundamentally sad and dangerously close to tears. 2
At the age of 12 Charles worked in a London factory pasting
labels on bottles of shoe polish. He held the job only for a
few months, but the misery of the experience remain with him
all his life. 3
Dickens attended school off and on until he was 15, and then
left for good. He enjoyed reading and was especially fond of
adventure stories, fairy tales, and novels. He was
influenced by such earlier English writers as William
Shakespeare, Tobias Smollet, and Henry Fielding. However,
most of the knowledge he later used as an author came from
his environment around him. 4
Dickens became a newspaper writer and reporter in the late
1820’s. He specialized in covering debates in Parliament,
and also wrote feature articles. His work as a reporter
sharpened his naturally keen ear for conversation and helped
develop his skill in portraying his characters speach
realistically. It also increased his ability to observe and
to write swiftly and clearly. Dickens’ first book, Sketches
by Boz (1836) consisted of articles he wrote for the Monthly
Magazine and the London Evening Chronicles.5
On April 2, 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth. This was just
a few days before the anoucement that on the 31st he would
have his first work printed in The Posthumous Papers of the
Pickwick Club. And this was the beginning of his career. 6
Then, at 24, Dickens became famous and was so until he died.
He won his first literary fame with The Posthumous Papers of
the Pickwick Club. Published in monthly parts in 1836 and
1837 the book describes the humorous adventure and
misadventures of the English Countryside. After a slow
start, The Pickwick Papers as the book was usually called
gained a popularity seldom matched in the history of
literature. 7
Then in 1837, Catherine’s sister Mary, died. Because of her
death Dickens’ suffered a lot of grief. This led some
scholars to believe that Dickens loved Mary more than
Catherine. Catherine was a good woman but she lacked
intelligence. Dickens and Catherine had 10 children. Then
later in 1858, the couple seperated. 8
His later years was basically consisting of two main
additions to his previous activites.
The first was a series of public readings and lectures which
he began giving it systematically. And second, he was a
successive editor. Dickens had been many things in his life;
he was a reporter , an actor, a conjurer, a poet, a
lecturer, and a editor and he enjoyed all of those things. 9
Dickens had a remarkable mental and physical energy. He
recorded all his activites in thousands of letter, many of
which made delightful readings. He spent much of his later
life with crowded social friends from arts and literature.
He also went to the theater as often as he could, cause he
loved drama. Dickens also produced and acted in small
theaters to give public readings of his
Besides doing all this after his retirement he got involved
in various charities . These charities included schools for
poor children and a loan society to enable the poor to prove
to Australia. 11
Then about 1865 his health started to decline and he died of
a stroke on June 9, 1870. 12
Dicken’s Work
The Great Expectations
This story talks about a guy who is in love with a girl. It
is the theme of a youths discovery of the realities of life.
An unknown person provides the young hero, Pip, with money
so that he can live as a gentleman. Pip’s pride is shattered
when he learns that he loses Estella forever, the source of
his “great expectation”. Only by painfully revising his
values does Pip reestablish his life on a foundation of
sympathy, rather than on vanity, possesions, and social

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His work of Great Expectation is very related with his life.
It deals with the same problems he faced when he lost
Catherine and how his life was before he became rich and
famous. He also created scenes and descriptions of places
that have longed delighted readers. Dickens was a keen
observer of life and had a great understanding of humanity,
especially of young people. The warmth and humor of his
personality appeared in all of his works. Perhaps in no
other large body of fiction does the reader receive so
strong and agreeable impression of the person behind the

1. G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens The Last of The Great
Men, American Book-Stratford Press, NY., 1942 pg.19
2. Ibid, pg. 21-22
3. Johnson, Edgar, His Tragedy and Triumph. Rev. ed.
Viking, 1977, pg. 20
4. Ibid, pg. 27
5. World Book Encyclopedia, Random House, NY., 1990 pg. 193
6. G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens The Last of the Great
Men, American Book-Stratford Press, NY., 1942 pg. 50
7. World Book Encyclopedia, Random House, NY., 1990 pg. 193
8. Johnson, Edgar, His Tragedy and Triumph. Rev. ed.
Viking, 1977, pg. 53
9. G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens The Last of the Great
Men, American Book-Stratford Press, NY., 1942 pg. 167
10. World Book Encyclopedia, Random House, NY., 1990 pg.195
Chesterton, G.K., “The Last of the Great Men” American
Book-Stratford Press, NY., 1942.

Johnson, Edgar, “His Tragedy and Triumph” Rev. ed.
Viking, 1977.

World Book Encyclopedia, Random House, NY., 1990


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