Bleak House Literary Analysis

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Bleak House, a novel whose main feature is the satire of England and its judicial system we are swiftly but thoroughly shown the hypocrisy of some “philanthropists.” The following essay will discuss the significance of philanthropy in Victorian times and how Dickens heavily satirizes it in Chapter 4, ‘Telescopic Philanthropy.’ Dickens was renowned for using his writing as an outlet to criticize the social, moral and economic abuses of the Victorian times. Firstly we shall establish an accurate definition of Philanthropy and consider why it was prominent feature in Victorian times. Philanthropy is defined as “The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes,” by The Oxford English Dictionary. In Victorian times Religion influenced many people to do charitable works as well as philanthropy was seen as socially and emotionally stimulating. These contributions were generally made by the middle to upper class people. Dickens presents us with the unusual character that is Mrs. Jellyby in chapter 4, ‘Telescopic Philanthropy.’ Mrs. Jellyby is described in the opening lines as “a lady of remarkable strength of character, who devotes herself entirely to the public.” (pg49, Chapter 4) However as the…show more content…
Jellyby with another kind of telescopic gaze – that of the two narrators.”(pg86) It is clear that Dickens is satirizing Victorian society and its foolish pride in philanthropy while its own poor suffer. Deborah Wynne then provides us with an interesting outlook in her socio-historical article titled “Reading Victorian Rags: Recycling, Redemption, and Dickens's Ragged Children.” She discusses how rags were ‘transformed’ and were highly useful in this era. She also explains how often rags were used as a metaphor and how Dickens
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