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The Childs Story

By | November 2012
Page 1 of 6
1.Introduction

1.1 The Life in England during the Victorian period and its influence on Charles Dickens

The Authority of Queen Victoria between 1837 and 1901 in England is called the Victorian period. On one hand, the country and its economie developt, on the other hand, there were a lot of people which lifed in poorness because the rush on the jobs was increasing enormous. And even when the unskilled workers found an employment, their income was just enough to live.[1]

“Hideous slums, some of them acres wide, some no more than crannies of obscure misery, make up a substantial part of the, metropolis … In big, once handsome houses, thirty or more people of all ages may inhabit a single room…” [2]

At first, Charles Dickens wasn´t regarded by such problems, because his father John Dickens worked as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office in Chatham. But they had to move to London, and J. Dickens became a factory-worker. It was hard for him to accept his new financial situation and he lived beyond his means. Therefore he was sent to the “Marshalsea debtors´prison” in Southwark London in 1824. At this point, Charles Dickens life changed – he had to earn money for his family as a shoeblack, ten hours a day, in the age of 12.[3] Child labor was tipical for the Victorian era. “In 1840 perhaps only twenty percent of the children of London had any schooling, a number which had risen by 1860, when perhaps half of the children between 5 and 15 were in some sort of school” [4]

1.2 Aim of the Work

It is characteristic for Charles Dickens works that he wanted to “…reform and improve society through his writings.” [5] But his short story “The Child´s Story” is about another subject. At first he points at the requierements of human beeings; “…the natural condition of childhood, […] is idyllic and innocent. Life in the garden of childhood is beneficent and carefree, and the...

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