By James M Brown

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Additional resources for Dickens: Novelist in the Market-Place

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That's the true business precept. All others are counterfeits' (p. 241). What Dickens constantly repudiates throughout the later novels is an attitude to business which elevates it into the primary or sole concern oflife, so that imaginative, spiritual, and religious life lapses into an extension of the economic, to be regarded in the same quantitative terms. When Arthur Clennam soberly admitted, 'I'm the only child of parents who weighed, measured, and priced everything; for whom what could not be weighed, measured, and priced, had no existence' (p.

Its relevance for promoting the health of the whole social organism and of all groups within it has been rejected. Instead of maintaining the efficient running of the machinery of society the ideal has come to be seen as having a socially divisive potential spreading unhappiness and social frustration throughout the lower orders. The importance of the middle-class value index will be clear when we look at individual novels in Part 2. However, if the term bourgeois novelist can only be applied to Dickens's novels in an ambiguous and misleading fashion, is there another group (other than the middle class) which we can identify as providing through its value structure the key to an understanding of the imaginative world of Dickens's mature novels?

G. Liz and Jenny in Bleak House). e. nature's gentlemen. But it will be argued that this is not a radical gesture, an implied criticism of the class system, a declaration of faith in the people as a class - but instead, a mere sentimental sop to his readers, with Dickens: Novelist in the Market-Place conservative social implications. Moral gentility is only awarded to the individual member of the working class who dutifully accepts his allotted place in society, and the need to be governed from above.

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