Charles Dickens Research Paper

Submitted By chelrey923
Words: 1373
Pages: 6

Chelsea Reyes
English 12
Ms. DeMatteo
2 May 2014
The Life and Fame of Charles Dickens Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England on February 7, 1812 to his mother, Elizabeth, and his father, John. He had a rough childhood, working in factories, being in and out of school, and supporting his family. His seven siblings, Alfred Lamert, Frances, Harriet, Letitia, Augustus, Frederick, and Alfred Allen, who relied entirely on Charles, suffered much neglect from John and Elizabeth (Huffam 102-104). His family also moved around England a lot; while he was under his parents’ roof, they never lived in one place for more than four to five years at a time. As a young teen he acquired a few different jobs, slowly finding his way into a weekly magazine job. He eventually started to be noticed by producing short sketches in a weekly magazine, and his career took off from there (Kunitz, Haycraft 182-184). Charles Dickens was a British author, who lived a life of loss, criticism, stardom, and learned through his experiences as a working child, determined teen, and a famous man made through his novels Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations. When Charles was an infant and his siblings were small children or infants, his father, who was a Naval Lieutenant, had a tendency to spend ridiculous amounts of money. They moved from Portsmouth to Kent in 1817, and in 1822, John’s spending habits caught up to him and he was sent to prison on debt charges. Two years later the family began to run low on money, which forced Charles to start a job in a hard-labor black-booting factory at just twelve years old. He worked in the factory a little less than a year then his father was released from prison. When Charles was thirteen, he had the opportunity to go back to school and attended Wellington House Academy, which didn’t last very long(Charles Dickens Biography). Two years after he went back to school, he had to go back to work to support his family of eight. He served as a law boy at a big law firm at just fifteen years old. In 1829, he became a freelance writer and wrote his own short stories; in the midst of all this, he fell in love with a beautiful, young woman named Maria Beadnell. They had a sweet, teen romance full of love, but shortly after they proclaimed their love for each other, Maria's father sent her to a Paris to keep her away from Charles(Kunitz, Haycraft 182-184). In 1831 he became a parliamentary reporter and his first short story was published in 1833; he was greatly known for being a show off and praising his own work. In 1837, Dickens's second book was published, Oliver Twist. There is one outstanding quote which explains Nancy's not-so-surprising, brutal death committed ironically by Bill Sikes. “She staggered and fell: nearly blinded with the blood that rained down from a deep gash in her forehead; but raising herself with difficulty, on her knees, drew from her bosom a white handkerchief- Rose Maylie's own- and holding it up, in her folded hands, as high towards Heaven as her feeble strength would allow, breathed one prayer for mercy to her Maker.” (Dickens 444). This is significant to the novel because it's symbolic of how society has failed Nancy, not only as a prostitute, but also as a woman in the 19th century. Her role in society was so minuscule, and the way she died represented that: tragic and alone. It also underscores her powerlessness in society. The reference to Rose's handkerchief was ironic because it reminds the reader that while Nancy was treated like a dog, Rose was treated like a queen, yet they both had the same occupation and behaved the same. As Charles's writing career progresses, so does his personal life. In 1836, he fell in love with a woman named Catherine, married her, and had ten children- seven sons and three daughters. In that same year, before Oliver Twist, he began writing for “The Pickwick Papers” weekly installments called Sketches by Boz. Over the