For two centuries, the creativity of Charles Dickens, a leader who has made an original contribution to world literature, attracted the attention of literary critics and followers. A realist of English Literature Charles Dickens lived and worked during the times of critical realism of the nineteenth century. Works created by English writer have absorbed various topics. In English literature, Charles Dickens was the founder of a new genre - the social novel. In his works we can see different images of the female image. It should be emphasized that the author has not disregarded Victorian women. According to the descriptions of the writer, Victorian woman, who incorporates the individual properties, expresses sharp corners of Victorianism. Scientists studying the work of Dickens, emphasize that in his works there is the struggle of two opposing segments of the population. It is a struggle, the conflict between rich and poor in England of the nineteenth century. In the process of describing the conflict in his work the writer has created images of women of different characters. Dickens’s women in “Hard Times” were portrayed from the perspective of keeping the family, and the idealized woman’s role was to keep an eye on the family’s morality and be submissive to her husband.
The famous scientist Michael Slater notes that of the 280 images created by Charles Dickens in his early works of six, 85% are female characters. In addition, the following five novels "Dombey and Son", "David Copperfield," "Hard Times," "Bleak House," "Little Dorrit" describes 99 female characters (Slater 334).
It is true that due to the creativity in Charles Dickens’s works, many scientists have divided the study of his literary works into four periods. We can see a deep knowledge of the inner world of women by Charles Dickens in the third period of his work. A well known scientist Gene Hartley is of the view that Charles Dickens realistically created an English woman of Victorian England. And in addition to that gives information about organization of the writer's secret establishment "Shelter homeless women." This institution was a secret place in the England of the nineteenth century to shelter homeless women. This place on the initiative of Charles Dickens, with the assistance of Ms. Angela Coates was organized in 1847. During this period the number of homeless and unemployed women in England has increased. Charles Dickens called such women as a "need" and "unemployment" in his papers (Slater 328). In “Hard Times” as well, the readers come across the representation of women who are stereotyped as being sensitive and incapable to solve the real life problems. However, as the story progresses, so does the theme of femininity gains its significance. The author masterfully proposes a subtle analysis of his portrayed Victorian women, and he can be praised of finding the key to the female nature.
Known western writer and literary critic Margaret Drabble evaluates the time in which the writer lived as the "age of the servants." Indeed, Charles Dickens was a witness of how his country was not in the direction of development, but rather in the direction of decline. Cruel and hard life of the unemployed and homeless women artfully described by the writer in the product "Little Dorrit," written in the third period of the writer's work and dedicated to acute social problems. Amy Dorrit is defined as the ideal female character created by the author, father of Will Dorrit working from early morning until late at night in jail "Marshalsi", is not worried about his daughter. Living only for the sake of his father and family Little Dorrit in deeper sense is a generous and a kind-hearted woman. She shared with others with all that is, and not to deprive anyone of his kindness. Despite the fact that she grew up in the darkness of prison, she always worked tirelessly, even becoming rich mistress, could not forget the life in prison.
Women such as Little Dorrit added to the fairy-tale type of "Cinderella." In the book "Dickens Tale", the image of Little Dorrit was transferred as a symbol of the female image of Cinderella type. For us, Little Dorrit is a type of angelic girls. Along with this, we can cite a number of female characters, similar to Little Dorrit, created by Charles Dickens.
In the work "The Old Curiosity Shop" the image of the protagonist, little Nelly, is partially similar to the image of Little Dorrit. In contrast to the small Nelly, who grew up in the woods and bushes grew up in Little Dorrit uncomfortable prison, where wanders the specter of death. Little Nellie is surrounded by romantic toys - travelers, tame animals, while Little Dorrit environment consists of a cold convicted of debt, lose interest in people's lives. It should be noted that in this work one of the images similar to the image of the small Nelly, described by the author - servant of the Marquis (Dickens, Chapter 8, 9). Renowned scholar K. Dickinson confirms that the image of the Marquise expresses the character of the ideal woman, created by the author.
Charles Dickens in "Little Dorrit" could really describe the two concepts of happiness and generosity inherent in this man, and on a par with the "wealth of happiness" or "happiness wealth." Money and unhappiness in the work found the true meaning of the writer as an example image of Little Dorrit expressed in vivid colors the image of the ideal woman. Although that features images of Little Dorrit and little Nelly similar to each other, the end product of Little Dorrit finds happiness, whereas the product of "The Old Curiosity Shop" ends with the death of little Nelly (Dickens, Chapter 71).
Despite many requests from many readers, the author finishes work as a tragedy. The author made several criticisms of the way of small Nelly, but the author has strongly contradicted them. This work was conceived by the author in the form of a fairy tale. Yes, it's a fairy tale, does not cease to repeat the author and his "magic ball" rolling slower - the tale of a good girl-fairy Nelly and evil wizard comes to an end (Dickens, Chapter 73). Described in the work of the household head, solid Christopher Nabbls father tells the children about the good Miss Nellie, but it seems a fairy tale past.
The fact that this work is similar in style to write a fairy tale is indicating a sizeable impact of fairy tales on the author's creativity. Creation of the author demonstrates a masterful use of not only Scottish and English, but also oriental tales. The plot and characters in a work of "The Old Curiosity Shop" is similar to the events of pearl product of oriental tales "Thousand and One Nights." This work opens a completely new chapter in the work of the author.
The image of Nancy in "Oliver Twist" is a minor image, but it is in a deep sense of angel of kindness to save the life of Oliver. The idea expressed by the author, was true. We will not dwell on the work itself, but focus on the female form. Nancy is a girl with a really pure soul, as the author describes, she as a child falls into the hands of thieves den with leader Fagin. Initially, Nancy thought of him as about a good man, but then realizes his true essence. But she never openly talked about her thoughts to Fagin. Founded a shelter in a den of thieves, Nancy saw in Oliver the one who came to the den an absolutely other property. Despite the fact that Oliver received thieves’ lessons and he should steal, he never did it. On seeing this pure soul Nancy wanted Oliver to left the thieves. Nancy not only frees Oliver from this web, but also puts an end to the activities of a bunch of thieves. Only by sacrificing herself, she sets the stage for a radical change in the fate of Oliver. Living in a den of thieves Nancy showed that her heart was not alien to the purity and generosity (Dickens, XVI).
She did not want to at least one child lived, as she, in this place, but she followed Fagin’s orders unquestioningly. Because Nancy knew what the leader Fagin can do. Despite the constant harassment by the police a bunch of thieves was very successful; Fagin got a decent income in this way. The soul of the girl has not lost purity, despite the disgusting environment. Nancy, experience pure, true feelings to Sykes retained allegiance to him. Dickens believed that a man with a pure soul even while living in a disgusting situation ever show itself. In the heart of Nancy lived all the feelings, the author said. This volcano woke up with the arrival of Oliver. She did not stay away from the explosion, Nancy even knows what will happen, but it is not a change of intention. The latter measure was fatal not only for Nancy, but also for the whole handful of thieves. The famous American scientist Michael Slater in 2009 wrote in his book "Charles Dickens": "Women in the works of Charles Dickens reflected as rescue angels, they showed their donation is the truth" (Slater, n.p.).
Female characters described in the novel "Nichols Nickleby", by Charles Dickens are all minor, one of them Kate Nickleby. Kate Nickleby, compared with a positive image of Rose Maylie in the novel "The Adventures of Oliver Twist”, is described more lively. This image is a prototype of Mary Hogarth. When you create a character of female characters, Dickens reflects actual portraits of women around him. The image of Kate incorporates not only the look of Mary, but also peace of mind, with pride, too, is not alien to her. She found strength in himself to blame Ralph in contempt of kinship, of duplicity Mrs Wititterly. Indeed, the natural temper Kate was one of the habits of the author's wife. Mrs Nickleby - surprisingly comic image in the product, its endless problems are always visible on her face deranged. This finding of the image was a rare find.
After the publication of the book, the interested readers have appeared quickly. Perhaps the main reason is the considered education issues and comic expressions. Critics correctly guessed the image of Mrs. Nickleby as Elizabeth Dickens. Indeed, Elizabeth Dickens suffered a lot, while her son Charlie turned into a "New Shakespeare", a famous writer - Charles Dickens. But most importantly, she was able to convey his natural inclination to humor and laughter to his son Charles. In the worst of times a woman is transferred adversity with humor, fun, kept calm even in prison "Marshalsi." It is always uplifting the people around them, like the angel of faith, encouraging.
Inevitably, Dickens named his famous literary work “Hard Times” to make a comparison between the woman and her role during the Queen Victoria’s age. Regarded as the fire keeper, a devoted mother and wife, the society did not question the woman’s emotional desires. One of such personages is Cecilia, who always blushes and is generally very polite, according to the norms. She embodies many of the stereotypical traits, suggesting that women are incapable of making their own decisions in life. During later stages, however, certain feministic roles started to come into view and the woman’s major role in society began to change. Sissy’s disadvantage, as seen in the beginning of the story, is her overwhelming emotional appeal that reflects in her hot and blushed cheeks. Still, to the reader’s surprise, she demonstrates the capabilities of a young and up till now underdeveloped personality. Being all emotional and feminine, she is contrasted with the image of Gradgrind who is absorbed in facts translating only to men. Likewise, his appearance is squarish and basically unexciting. A completely another role is played by a woman, named Louisa. She is devastated and inclined to solitude, and her emotions, initially, are a mess. Her unfortunate life depends much on her selfish father, Gradgrind, and both of them share coldness and emotional emptiness.
Like Sissy, Louisa too grows spiritually and morally, and this growth can be predictable. Later on, she becomes renowned as a model in society and the woman, who changes the whole story of the Victorian age. Louisa represents femininity in its core, as she witnessed her own transformation, from depression and insignificance, to the commencement of equality in society. And more, the colorful image of Mrs Sparsit unveils her unique character. The most unfeministic character, she represents a physically strong woman who is often mocked by the author.
The most extraordinary aspect present in Dickens’s works is that the women portrayed are capable of adding importance to their lives and making their voice to be heard. These women realize their life situation well and act to improve on it. They do not compromise on their marriage, but once awake from the long sleep, they no longer suffocate themselves in the narrow walls of the family. Confidence and self-esteem are the traits that help women of those hard times recognize themselves. In the series of portrayal of Dickens’s characters, we can speak of the birth of feminism. Moreover, the author himself could be taking sides with the proactive women and their struggle for equality, as he is strongly opposed to the ways of depression in the Victorian society.
Dickens is one of those great writers, the global glory of which shall be approved specifically after the appearance of the first works. Not only in England but also in Germany, France, Russia, soon after the publication of the first books of Bosa (the alias of young Dickens) there was spoken about the author of "Pickwick Papers," "Oliver Twist", "Nicholas Nickleby."
In the glory that befell to Charles Dickens, there is something mysterious and even mystical. His influence experienced a variety of writers. His disciple was Dostoevsky who constantly, even in the years of his artistic maturity, emphasized the ideological, emotional, artistic link to this writer. Striking in its psychology, philosophical and ethical depth images of Stavrogin and Nastasia Filippovna are "originated" in the works of Dickens: they were born of reflection on the character of the writer Steerforth and Edith Dombey.
Characteristic features of Dickens creativity are the presence of melodramatic elements. His biography was reflected in the plots of his novels, and in a creative manner. This is particularly evident in the description of the female characters in the novels of Charles Dickens. Dickens' attitude to the role and place of women in society was typical of his time. He, like many in the Victorian period, believed that a woman's role determines the range of household chores. Their lives should be centered on the family. He sees women as a "natural-born nurses," as "a kind of natural priest who is closer to God than man" and as "a source of spiritual strength and support". Despite the fact that Dickens shared his contemporary views on the role and place of women in society, he at the same time supporting initiatives related to the mitigation of patriarchal law, with a change in the social status of women.
Baker, Isadore Lewis. Charles Dickens: Hard Times. London: J. Brodie, 1961. Print.
Coleridge, Sara Coleridge, and Edith Coleridge. Memoir and Letters of Sara Coleridge. New York: Harper & Bros., 1874. Print.
Dickens, Charles. Hard Times. Wordsworth: Printing Press. 1854. Print.
Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist. 1839. Print.
Dickens, Charles. The Old Curiosity Shop. London: Chapman and Hall, 1848. Print.
Edgar, David, and Charles Dickens. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. Book Club ed. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1982. Print.
Isba, Anne. Dickens's Women: His Great Expectations. London: Continuum, 2011. Print.
Page, H. M., and Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986. Print.
Slater, Michael. Dickens and Women. London: J.M. Dent, 1983. Print.