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June 23, 2009

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Isn't that kind of the point of rich people in Dickens' work, though? Speaking as someone who has only read "A Tale of Two Cities" and "Little Dorrit' (and about 40 pages of "Our Mutual Friend"), the wealthy characters in his novels have gotten that way through unknown means and, therefore, the people who idolize them are even more ridiculous. I mean, Mr. Merdle wouldn't be half as intimidating if we knew exactly how he became so rich and powerful. What frightens us about Merdle is that he's rich and powerful because he did this one thing a long time ago that no one remembers (or seems to care about) and that led to him knowing a guy who knew a guy who is the cousin twice removed of this really influential guy in Parliament, or some other such nonsense. The fact that these people (like Merdle or the Barnacles or just about any French aristocrat in A.T.o.T.C) have so much money and influence and no one knows how they got it or where it came from is supposed to prove Dickens' point that people are so oblivious to what is going on and the actions of those in power, like his theories on "Nobody", where he says people refuse to take responsibility for the problems in their own country/government/society and call said problems "Nobody's Fault".

Then again, I haven't read the article; I was just going off your post. And sorry for the rant =)

No apologies necessary -- you've made some excellent points!

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  • A blog for all things Dickens -- quotes, reflections, adaptations, references and tributes from other authors, and more.

Happy 200th, Mr. Dickens!

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