Charles Dickens and His Contributions to Classic English Literature

Topics: Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, Martin Chuzzlewit Pages: 3 (916 words) Published: April 10, 2008
Most of Dickens’s novels were written episodically in monthly or weekly journals such as Master Humphrey’s Clock (Wikipedia). Due to this, the stories were affordable, accessible to anyone in that era. On top of that, his stories were widely anticipated by his readers causing many to be more interested in the classic English literature. The other impact of his episodic writings was his exposure to the opinions of his readers. He was able to analyse the public’s reaction to his works before starting a new chapter. For an example, Dickens’s friend, John Forster was able to suggest to him that Little Nell should die in The Old Curiosity Shop. Hence, he was able to write a story based on what the readers want, expect or prefer and because of this, he managed to capture the reader into reading more of his works, thus contributing, albeit indirectly, to the classic English literature.

Dickens also used autobiographical elements in his stories. This is very noticeable especially in David Copperfield, Bleak House and Little Dorrit. The court cases and debates in Bleak House are drawn from the author’s career as a stenographer. The detailed depiction of Marshelsea debtor’s prison was definitely Dickens’s experiences while he was there. The characters such as Little Nell is said to be Dickens’s sister in law, Fagin is based on Ikey Solomon, while Nicholas Nickleby’s father is said to be Dickens’s father. In my personal opinion, the fact that Dickens used autobiographical elements managed to lure readers of because the characters seemed more realistic. It allows the readers to be ‘closer to home’. On top of that, his stories began to be widely accepted in America. Dickens was intelligent as he modified the plot in Martin Chuzzlewit by sending the character to America, hence, stirring up more interest among the Americans.

Many of Dickens works has been adapted into motion pictures and TV adaptations. In fact, some were adapted for the stage during his lifetime....
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