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ENGL 330 – Reading of Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend.docx

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English (Arts)
ENGL 330
Marc M.Ducusin

ENGL 330 English Novel 19 Century th September 27 2011 Originally published serially Money is an important theme P.204 Ella criticizes a recommended novel because of the referees to money Meta-fictional tension towards the concept of money Many a slip before the cup reaches their lip they find out that theyve both married the other for a fortune that neither of them have (disappointed expectations) Bella was supposed to marry the son of John Harmon, but he died before they could marry Riderhood wants the reward for saying that Hexon was the one who kills Harmon, but he doesnt get the money Different plotlines and tensions are intertwined, and most center around the nexus of fortune (being left little in the will or being left out of it) Dickens apparently had mapped out the four novels meticulously so the production of it could be rapid April 1865, his productivity had slowed down and he became only one novel behind the published one Book 3 was written in France to gain a different scenery and to take a break from his previous writing location Dickens experience with marital strain/tension (emotionally and financially) could reflect on the strain demonstrated on the households in the novels Cynical portrait of marriage as deception Wilfer household; poor family with a lot of squabbling between the sisters o Inverted relationship between Bella and her Father o Dynamics between these two Dickens typical heroines are usually very bleak, passive and bland, however the two heroines (Bella and Lucy) are more headstrong and assertive A secondary character like Mortemore is used to recount the backstory of the Harmon family Minor characters function in relation to the major plotline Mr. Tremlow is used to focalize our attention to the Nearings o Draws attention to the social divide Thematic and Symbolic threads The tems river and the dust heaps o Describe figuratively forming the bowls of London o Repositories for bodies or garbage o Hexon family retrieves bodies from the river and the Harmon family gets their money from the dust heaps (come from garbage) o The river and the dust heaps can be places where secrets can be buried and unearthed o The bowels of London Twin motifs; contrast between lack of cultivation and social polish o Ignorant and unpolished Buffin family (p.105 chapter 9) Kind of inherent good in them that still proves to thrive o This sense of polish and idea of being brand new (p.17 Chapter 2) Introductory description of character to pay attention to later ** Rhetorical technique Does it flatten stock type the characters, or does it hint to something deeper that is going on Value placed on financial capital and money Alfred and Sofia(??) and their mutual deception (p. 118 Chapter 10) o Very Cynical outlook on the world Recurring theme of social aspiration and ascent Idea of cultivation is something we have seen in relation to instruction and education in Ruth In here, we see cultivation come up in a series of incidences o Importance of having shares Education is bound up/at odd/related to social standing and worth o The issue of education as a means to raise oneself socially o As a means to justify ones superiority/supposed superiority Charlie Hexon; wants to be educated to become headmaster Father doesnt want because he thinks that hell become too good for his father Silas Wegg; impressed by his knowledge even thought he only considers himself as the man with the wooden leg Mr. Venus; wants to be educated/knowledgeable to get the woman he loves o Clear distinction between knowledge and the perceived knowledge o None described with any favorable light Early description of Jesse on page 38 Mortimer Lakewood and Jesse; Jesse wants to bring news about the dead body A very striking image that separates literature from the illiterate people An uncompleted savagery An incomplete person; uncompleted savagery and uncompleted civilization o Social Darwinism o Terms of insighting/reflecting certain fears at the time of the opposites o Social de-evolution o Fear of degeneration and decaying o Not just physical decaying but also social reversion o Wiping out of class boundaries th October 4 2011 Gender and Homosocial Hierarchy Gender in terms of problems and fluidities of gender identities (mostly masculine identities) Male homosocial rivalries Three main plot developments Major plot revelation; John Rokesmith is actually John Harmon (who didnt actually die) Plot revelation; development/entailment the courtship if Bella and his ultimate decision to conceal his identity from her Courtship plot of Eugene Wrayburn and Lizzi o Male/male Hexam and Bradley H. = love triangle Silas Wiggs Scheming Mr. Sloppy; works for Betty Higton by doing her laundry and he also reads the newspaper and uses different voices for the policeman. o Envious because hes not the lead employee o Animosity to Mr. Buffin Gender/Identity/Hierarchy/Male Hierarchies Male homosocial hierarchies Rivalries are extended to hierarchies to a recurring trop of high languages Aristocratic use of language Recurring trop of superlative diction o Ex. Characters who refer to themselves or other characters as best man or best woman John Harmon and the plot revelation p. 359 Last paragraph; Chapter 8 Book 2 Seaferring stranger = rogue riderhood Throughout this passage we see this fluid shifting between two different identities Changing of identities/revelation of falsely assumed identities/uncovering of secret identities = suspense style plots o Wilkie Collins Armadale Suspenseful plot device and calls
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