Analysis of Charles Dickens' - Sketches by Boz Essay

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‘The Streets-Morning’ by Charles Dickens is an extract taken from ‘Sketches by Boz.’ It is a descriptive piece and follows prominent features of the literary sketch technique, as it contains no prominent plot. The speaker narrates the “appearance presented by the streets of London an hour before sunrise on a summer’s morning.”

The extract is in the first person narrative. This feature adds intensity and supports the use of details. First person narrative is generally considered unreliable due to lack of witnesses and external verification; however, the detached and objective narration by the speaker prompts readers to think otherwise – “now and then a rakish looking cat runs stealthily…bounding first on the water-butt then on the dust
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Eliot’s ‘Preludes’ also refers to an early morning scene similar to the one in the extract, using personification –

“The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.”

Human qualities are given to the cat who is – “rakish looking.” The character of whose develops as the speaker gives him gender and infers that “his character depended on his gallantry.” The use of personification adds further detail to the narrative with – “A partially opened bedroom-window here and there, bespeaks the heat of the weather, and the uneasy slumbers of its occupant.”

The extract uses language in distinct and deliberate ways to shape meaning. The vocabulary used helps infer that the speaker is mature; this is seen with use of words such as “penury,” “profligate” and “dissipated.” A sentence of importance in shaping such meaning is –

“The drunken, the dissipated and the wretched have disappeared.”

The trochaic features at the end of each word, helps to reveal the distant and condescending manner in which the speaker is viewing these people. The order in which these words are presented