E.P. Whipple

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Whipple, E.P. "On the Economic fallacies of Hard Times." Hard Times. Ed. Kaplan, Fred and Sylvère, Monod. New York: Norton, 2001. 347-351.
This article by E. P. Whipple is called “On the Economic Fallacies of Hard Times” and was written in The Atlantic Monthly in 1877. It talks about how Dickens established a weekly periodical called Household Words. Four years later he began the publication of Hard Times that was completed in weekly installments until its finish. Household Words was doubled in length with the completion of Hard Times. It was dedicated to Thomas Carlyle when published in a separate form who was Dickens’ master of political economy.

The article tells the audience that he believed Dickens’ was in an embittered state of mind towards political and social questions when he wrote Hard Times. He thinks that Dickens’ was going against the current laws of the production and distribution of wealth and was trying to create new laws in society that he thought political economists never thought of. He proposes that Hard Times was directed against those who only thought logically. Whipple goes on to tell us that Dickens’ was very inefficient in the skill of generalization and whatever went against his beliefs he thought was untrue.

Whipple suggests that many of the assessments of Hard Times failed to consider “any distinction between Dickens as a creator of character and Dickens as a humorous satirists of what he considers flagrant abuses.” He thinks that Dickens is understanding and considers many different aspects when thought of a creator of characters, and very one-sided when thought of as a satirists. The only difference between him and other satirists is that he had great skill in individualizing abuses in characters. Dickens is strong in individualizing, weak in generalizing, and personifies his personal opinions as a satirist. Anything that Dickens understands he humorously represents and anything that he does not understand he humorously...
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