Critical Criticism Of Charles Dickens

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The first image that comes to mind when one thinks of Charles Dickens is that of bleak buildings engulfed by the fog; a stained city, home to many desperate individuals, where if beauty and horror can stand alongside, injustice often lays down the law. Indeed, it is first and foremost as an urban writer denouncing, through descriptions full of humour and satire, the social discrepancies of the industrial society that Dickens is mostly remembered for. This dark world in which his characters evolve is far from the wilderness and pastoral images more readily associated with words such as ‘nature’ or the ‘environment’. Nonetheless, contrary to this traditional analysis, or rather, in the hope to put forward elements which have not yet been tackled,…show more content…
What where the problems encountered so far? In which direction is it going? To provide a constructed answer to these, the essay has been divided into three main sections. The first one is devoted to a justification, both of the thesis and of the corpus of novels chosen as the starting material. Emphasis is especially put on the concept of ‘ecocriticism’, i.e. what it entails, in order to show, ultimately, why it will prove fruitful to apply one to the other. The second section provides an insight into the methodology used so far but also into the methodology that I plan to apply during the second year of work. This necessarily implies a critical assessment of what has already been done, what remains to be done, what were the obstacles and how it will be possible to improve the workflow. The last section is resolutely focused on the future since it sheds the light on how the thesis will be ultimately structured. Two separate sections have been added at the end of this preparatory work: the list of works cited and the appendix. The latter comprises the draft work plan for the year to come and a thorough bibliography including the state of my research and what remains to be…show more content…
Nevertheless, since the creation of the “Association for the Study of Environment and Literature” (ASLE) in 1992 and the birth of the journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment a year later (Glotfelty xviii), it has become ever more complex and has given birth to new stances. In parallel, it has also expanded geographically: born in the United States in the wake of the environmental crisis, it is by now implanted in many countries such as the United Kingdom, Japan or Korea where ASLE is present (Branch and Slovic xv). Due to this growing diversity and complexity, it is quite difficult today to give a single definition of ecocriticism, especially considering that even the denomination in itself was the subject of many debates (Glotfelty xx). Some objected to the term, claiming that it came “associated with a particular set of political and social agendas” (Cook n. pag.) while others coined it as “vague and somewhat misleading” (Sarver n. pag.). Despite those critics, the term appears to be now accepted and has found its way in books such as the Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and
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