Posts Tagged ‘Brian Murray’

It’s not that Mamet isn’t concerned about social change it’s just as I quoted in yesterday’s post he doesn’t see that as the role of the artist. Dickens stands in the other corner. When Dickens’ father was sent to a debtors’ prison Dickens went to work in a factory — at age 12. He would grow up to be the most popular English writer of his time.

His work includes Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities,  and David Copperfield. Much has been written about Dickens’ desire to bring about social change through his writings. I found this nugget online, “Charles Dickens was immensely troubled and pained by the social scourges that marked his age. He worked tirelessly to expose and eradicate such injustices as the treatment of children, women, prisoners, the poor, and the ill.”

And he didn’t just do that through his writings.

“Dickens practiced what he preached. Surely no other great writer, before or since, ever spent so much time and energy supporting charitable organizations and benevolent funds. Dickens worked conspicuously for better sewers and for decent schools and houses for the poor; he supported the Royal Academy, the Railway Benevolent Society, the Warehousemen and Clerks’ Schools, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Metropolitan Rowing Clubs. And between 1846 and 1858 he devoted considerable effort to rescuing prostitutes, as Jenny Hartley reveals in her engaging new book Charles Dickens and the House of Fallen Women.”
Brian Murray
The Social Gospel of Charles Dickens 

While most known for his novels, Dickens also wrote hundreds of essays and pamphlets addressing social ills. (Any doubts that if he were alive today he’d be blogging?) Dickens had planned on writing a pamphlet detailing an area that was employing seven-year-olds in workdays lasting 10-12 hours. But he nixed the idea saying that he had a better idea that would feel like a “Sledge hammer” with “twenty times the force, twenty thousand times the force.”

Instead of a writing a pamphlet he wrote A Christmas Carol. 

Scott W. Smith

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