THE LITERARY INDEX

LITERARY CRITICISM AND ANALYSIS OF NOVELS AND POETRY

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Charles Dickens Literary Criticism

The Pickwick Papers

An academic article by Andrew Mangham looking at the role of medical science, and the impact the suicide of Dickens's illustrator, had on The Pickwick Papers.
An essay by Professor Kébir Sandy exploring the presence of theatricality and the influence of popular entertainment on Dickens in this novel, as well as other early Dickens works such as Sketches by Boz, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby.

Bleak House

A paper by Jade Werner of Northwestern University, looking at the similarities between the characters of Mrs. Jellyby and Harold Skimpole, particularly from a perspective of competing cosmopolitanisms.
An essay by Shirley Galloway exploring some of the characters and themes, focusing in particular on Dickens's use of parallel narratives.

Oliver Twist

An essay by Professor Kébir Sandy exploring the presence of theatricality and the influence of popular entertainment on Dickens in this novel, as well as other early Dickens works such as Sketches by Boz, The Pickwick Papers, and Nicholas Nickleby.
An essay by James Washick, an Associate Professor at North Greenville University, exploring the similarities between the origins of the eponymous protagonist of Dicken's novel and Lord Voldemort, from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
A paper by John Robert Keller mainly focusing on Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot although it does relate certain scenes from this play to Dickens' novel.

A Tale of Two Cities

An essay by Christine L. Krueger, Professor of English at Marquette University, exploring the historical context of Dickens's novel through the application for queer theory and in relation to contemporary LGBTQ rights.

A Christmas Carol

A chapter from Victorian Literature and the Victorian Visual Imagination, called 'Spectacular Sympathy: Visuality and Ideology in Dickens's A Christmas Carol' by Audrey Jaffe. It argues that this is Dicken's most visually evocative text.
An essay by Brad Fruhauff of Loyola University exploring the enduring appeal of Dickens' narrative, drawing in particular on Julian Wolfreys’s notion of 'hauntology' and Emmanuel Levinas’s ethics of the other.
In this paper Lothar Cerny examines the idea of revisiting the past and how it is explored in A Christmas Carol.
An essay by Adelene Buckland of Newnham College exploring both the material and symbolic role of 'the fireside' in A Christmas Carol and Our Mutual Friend.

Hard Times

An academic article by Anna Dever exploring the roles of performativity, theatrical discourse, 'stage trappings', and liminal spaces in this novel and Little Dorrit.
An essay by Casey A. Cothran of Winthrop University, exploring the ways in which Dickens's novel invites the reader to think critically, with reference to Martha C. Nussbaum and others.

The Old Curiosity Shop

A chapter from Vanishing Points: Dickens, Narrative, and the Subject of Omniscience by Audrey Jaffe looking at the subject of omniscience and how it relates to narrative perspective, as well as the meaning of the word 'curiosity'.

David Copperfield

An essay by Françoise Dupeyron-Lafay looking at the form and function of language in David Copperfield, particularly how Dickens uses language as a tool for retrospection and characterization.
An essay by Clare Pettitt of King's College exploring social, cultural and historical meaning in Dickens' text, as well as "associationist" reading and "thing theory" through an examination of Peggotty's workbox.
A paper by Adam McCune of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which investigates how the themes of idleness and parasitism are juxtaposed with labour and hard work in the novel, with especial attention to the characters of Jack Maldon, Tommy and Sophy Traddles, and Caroline Crewler.
A paper by Margaret Price which examines the character of the hero's aunt, Betsey Trotwood, in Dickens's celebrated semi-autobiographical novel. Price focuses in particular on the notion of the 'masculine female'.
An academic article by George R. Clay challenging the views E.M. Forster expresses in his Aspects of the Novel regarding the role of "flat characterization". Clay looks at the roles of several 'flat characters' in this novel, as well as Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Tolstoy's War and Peace.

Nicholas Nickleby

An essay by Professor Kébir Sandy exploring the presence of theatricality and the influence of popular entertainment on Dickens in this novel, as well as other early Dickens works such as Sketches by Boz, The Pickwick Papers, and Oliver Twist.

Martin Chuzzlewit

An essay by Daniel P. Deneau of Minnesota State University, examining the character of 'old Chuffey' and his role in the narrative of this novel.

Dombey and Son

A chapter from Vanishing Points: Dickens, Narrative, and the Subject of Omniscience by Audrey Jaffe examining the author's narrative techniques in conveying the public and private spheres of the novel's characters to the reader.
An essay by Kebir Sandy, looking at the correspondence between Dickens's novel and Hablot Browne's accompanying illustrations, with reference to the work of Michael Steig, Q.D. Leavis, and others.

Barnaby Rudge

An article by Peter Ackroyd, a biographer of Dickens, mainly discussing how events in the author's life influenced the characters and narrative of this novel.

Great Expectations

An essay by Professor Michael Hollington that sets out to highlight the paradoxical nature of Dickens's famous bildungsroman novel by exploring the grotesque and tragicomic aspects of the text.
An essay by Martin Fashbaugh, of Black Hills State University, which looks at the interplay between narrative and poetic discourse and their relationship to the theme of jealosy in Dickens's novel and The Ordeal of Richard Feverel by George Meredith.
An essay by Meyrav Koren-Kuik of Tel Aviv University which explores how Dickens in Great Expectations and Le Fanu in Uncle Silas bring Gothic conventions into the domestic sphere in their novels.
An academic article by Pete Orford which identifies several science fiction tropes, such as automata and the inventor figure, to be inherent within Dickens's story.
In this essay Julianne White explores the subjects of community, stereotype and insanity in Great Expectations and George Eliot's Adam Bede.

Our Mutual Friend

An essay by Professor Kébir Sandy, which explores the character of Bella Wilfer, with analysis of several scenes from the novel.
An essay by Adelene Buckland of Newnham College exploring both the material and symbolic role of 'the fireside' in A Christmas Carol and Our Mutual Friend.
A scholarly article by Nicola Bown exploring the influence of Darwin's Origin of Species on this novel and the narrative role of Mr Venus's shop.
An essay by Sara D. Schotland of Georgetown University which discusses the character of Jenny Wren and how Dickens challenges binary oppositions in the representation of disability in the Victorian novel.
A chapter from Vanishing Points: Dickens, Narrative, and the Subject of Omniscience by Audrey Jaffe exploring the underlying ominscience of this novel's narrator.

Little Dorrit

An academic article by Anna Dever exploring the roles of performativity, theatrical discourse, 'stage trappings', and liminal spaces in this novel and Hard Times.
An essay by Anette Slifsgaard of Aalborg University which investigating the role and depiction of Victorian women in this novel.

Sketches by Boz

In this chapter from Vanishing Points: Dickens, Narrative, and the Subject of Omniscience, Audrey Jaffe examines the narrative persona the author adopts in the sketches.
An essay by Kébir Sandy exploring the presence of theatricality and the influence of popular entertainment on Dickens in this novel, as well as other early Dickens works such as The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby.