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Literary and Social Concerns in the Novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens

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Literary and Social Concerns in the Novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens

CONTENTS
|INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………… |3 |
|PART 1. A review of literary and social concerns in the novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens………………………………………………… | |
|1.1. Social concerns as a mirror of current literature in the XIX century…. |4 |
|1.2. Social and literary problems in “Vanity Fair” by William Thackeray... |4 |
|1.3. Art, veracity and moral purpose in “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens |5 |
|Conclusion ……….…………………………………………………………….. |7 |
|PART 2. Approaches and manners of the social problems transmission………. |10 |
|2.1. The problem of poverty and social inequalty in society. The authors’ approach to this |11 |
|problem............................................................................... | |
|2.2. The problem of poverty from the stylistic point of view……………... |11 |
|2.3. Similarity and differences in the authors’ approaches………………... |20 |
|Conclusion ……….…………………………………………………………….. |26 |
|GENERAL CONCLUSION ...…………………………………………………. |31 |
|REFERENCES…………………………………................................................. |32 |
| |33 |

INTRODUCTION

The theoretical value of the given topic is the concern with specific social problems in the novels of the Victorian literature writers, William Thackeray and Charles Dickens, and their own kinds of experience and values, which could be dramatized in fiction. Literary and social problems are very important on the current stage of English literature development. This concern was examined by J. Rawlings [9], J. T. Fields [2], R. V. Jackson [4], J. Sutherland [13] and other scientists. The practical value of the investigation is the benefit of examining the social concerns during the English lessons for learning a vast variety of traits, styles and ideas of the social problems transmission. The object of the research is literary and social concerns in the novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens. The subject of the project is the novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens, the authors’ approaches and manners of the passing the social problems on. The aim of the work is the theoretical and practical substantiation of the concerns with specific social problems in the novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens. The following tasks should be achieved: • to discover literary and social concerns in the mirror of current literature of the XIX century on the basis of the scientific sources analysis; • to make a review of social and literary problems dramatized in novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens; • to define the approaches and manners of the authors’ transmission of the social problems, their traits, styles and ideas; • to discover similarity and differences in the authors’ approaches in the social problems coverage. Methods of investigation: the classificational analysis, the relationships analysis, structural genetic synthesis and summarizing the ideas concerning social and literary problems in scientific works of some critics [1, 3, 6, 7, 11].

PART 1. A review of literary and social concerns in the novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens

1.1. Social concerns as a mirror of current literature in the XIX century

The 19-th century was characterized as highly contradictive. In many ways it was an age of progress. The Industrial Revolution was complete and the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 was its high point. Britain had become the “workshop of the world”. But at the same time there was great urban poverty and social injustice. New machines left many workers out of work. Those who had work toiled for 16 hours a day. Children began to work at six or eight years of age and worked for 12 hours a day. The workers joined Trade Unions to fight for their rights. They formed their demands into a Bill and called it People’s Charter. In 1833 the Charter was read to the House of Commons in the Parliament, but the members of the Parliament rejected it. The Charter was sent to industrial cities of the country. The workers held meetings there, and later in 1839, thousands of workers signed the Charter. There were battles in streets, strikes all over the country. Many workers were arrested and sent to prisons. Thus the first organized movement against capitalism began, known as Chartism. Chartism was the first national political movement of the working class of Great Britain. During the Industrial Revolution, many people moved from the country to the towns, there they usually lived in dirty and overcrowded conditions. They worked long hours for very little money. Even small children had to work in factories and mines. Many writers, in particular Charles Dickens, wrote about their misery [5. Queen Victoria was monarch of England from 1837 to 1901, and it has been found convenient to group the writings produced during this period as “Victorian”. No earlier period of English literature exhibits so vast variety of traits, styles and ideas. The concern with specific social problems is the most noticeable distinction between Victorian literature and the literature of the preceding centuries. Charles Dickens and William Thackeray are the representatives of the Victorian literature and touched social and literary problems [5]. The word “social” means connected with society and the way it is organized. The meaning of the word “literary” is connected with literature; suitable for or typical of a work of literature [6]. Thus in this work social and literary problems in the novels of Charles Dickens and William Thackeray are studied.

1.2. Social and literary problems in “Vanity Fair” by William Thackeray.

The title of the book by William Thackeray suggests the idea: Vanity Fair. The treasures of Vanity Fair, that is, money and position, are desirable but transient. The gaiety, the mask of the ball, does not stay with the person when he faces death. Thackeray does not underestimate the importance of having a home, clothes and food; but he does expose the cruelty, the deception, and the futility of making possessions and power the only aim in life. The book is so saturated with the vanity of Vanity Fair, the duplicity of social climbers, and the weakness of human nature, that it would be impossible to separate idea from plot or plot from characters. If the book appears to ramble, it never strays from the focus of attention on the foibles of human nature in its struggle to reach the highest strata of Vanity Fair. Rebecca Sharp has one determination: to carve out a place for herself in Vanity Fair. Although she hasn't blushed naturally since she was eight years old, she can blush at will. She exploits her aloneness and lack of protection. She can cry when she wants to, but the most genuine tears she sheds are those when she has to refuse marriage to the wealthy Sir Pitt Crawley, because she has already married his son, Rawdon. Rebecca's ambition is her outstanding characteristic. She sacrifices husband, child, friends to it; but she enjoys the battle. In a letter to Amelia, after Becky has gone to Queen's Crawley, she says, "At least I shall be amongst gentlefolks – and not with vulgar city people." This jibe refers to both the Sedleys and the Osbornes because George has thwarted her marriage with Joseph Sedley. She continues, "You might lodge all the people in Russell Square in the house, I think, and have space to spare." Becky succeeds in establishing herself in Vanity Fair, at the cost of the lives of two men and the alienation of all her friends and family. She serves as a direct contrast to Amelia. Exactly opposite from Rebecca, Amelia has many advantages. Miss Pinkerton describes her as industrious, obedient, sweet, and beloved. Whereas Rebecca's chief quality is ruthless ambition, Amelia exhibits weak humility and blind loyalty. Protected by doting parents, Amelia leads a sheltered existence saddened by George's neglect and his apparent willingness to forget her when her fortune has vanished. Sweet, lovable, refreshing, she has neither the sparkle nor the mentality of Becky. Amelia's innocence and ready belief in other people make her unbelievably good in contrast to Becky's unbelievable duplicity. Both attract young men, but for different reasons. Becky's wit and physical charm win a following, whereas Amelia's goodness and sweetness charm all who meet her. Becky can cry when she wants to; Amelia cries over a dead canary, a mouse, the end of a stupid novel, or the slightest unkind word to her. Thackeray has called this book a novel without a hero. Actually the only gentleman in the book is William Dobbin. Dobbin first appears in defense of little George Osborne, whereat George is shamed that his defender is not of a higher social status. Dobbin appears thereafter as the guardian of George's and Amelia's interests. It is he who sees that they marry, that George is more or less kind to Amelia; and after George's death, it is Dobbin who reconciles old Osborne to Amelia, whereby both Amelia and Georgy have position and wealth. Dobbin exerts a good influence over little George in that he gives him some values in place of those of Vanity Fair. Thackeray gives his definition of gentlemen and he means this to be a description of Dobbin: ". . . whose aims are generous, whose truth is constant, and not only constant in its kind, but elevated in its degree; whose want of meanness makes them simple: who can look the world honestly in the face with an equal manly sympathy for the great and the small …". George Osborne belongs to Vanity Fair. As a boy he has been ashamed of William Dobbin, his protector at school, because he feels Dobbin is of a lower social status. George loves Amelia after his fashion, but he loves himself more. George courts the acquaintance of the nobility, as all true inhabitants of Vanity Fair, but he does not tell tales on ladies. Self-centered and selfish, he takes Amelia's love and loyalty as his due and under Dobbin's pressure marries her. When disinherited, he blames Dobbin and says he has lost his money over stupid sentiment. But when his sisters talk against Amelia, he comes to her defense in spite of their glares and his father's anger. At times George rises to heroic proportions, as when he stands up for Amelia against his family. His inconsistency of character: the willingness to defy others in his beloved's behalf and also his willingness to betray her, mark his citizenship in Vanity Fair. Son of George Osborne and Amelia Sedley Osborne, little Georgy is orphaned before he is born. Brought up to believe he is the most important creature on earth, he gravitates to the values of Vanity Fair. But for William Dobbin, he might have remained entirely selfish. Popular, intelligent, lovable, Georgy inherits half the Osborne fortune and, at the end of the book, appears to be a better man than either his father or grandfather. The setting could be changed to modern times and the observations would be true today. The vanity of man is universal and ever present. Women still berate and betray women; relatives still fight over money; mothers still sell their daughters for popularity, money, or position. Yet, there are some people, Thackeray indicates, who do not bow down to the idols of Vanity Fair [11]. The winners at the end of the story are those who cherished human relationships first: Amelia, Dobbin, and Lady Jane, with the children Georgy and little Rawdon. Thackeray's idea, then, is that although one may live in Vanity Fair, one need not be a slave to its values, which in the final analysis turn into futility and emptiness. The reader feels that Georgy and little Rawdon will be better men than their grandfathers.

1.3. Art, veracity and moral purpose in “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, in 1883, to show the reader things as they really are. He felt that the novel should be a message of social reform. One of its purposes was to promote reform of the abuses in workhouses. In no way does Dickens create a dream world. His imagination puts together a bad place during a bad time; an English workhouse just after the Poor Law Act of 1834 [4]. In the first chapter of Oliver Twist, Dickens moves from comedy to pathos and from pathos to satire. He takes us from the drunken old woman to the dying mother to the hardened doctor. Such rapid switches help in all the later novels to hold together disparate effects, to provide variety and unity, and to give that double opportunity for comedy and pathos that Dickens admired in stage melodrama. Dickens also captures life and death in a single sentence, "Let me see the child, and die"[7]. This sums up the mother's will to see the newborn baby, and takes a short stride from birth to death. Dickens seems to create his characters to open the reader's eyes to the true characteristics of their nature. We are apt to forget how early-Victorian society, the society of the laissez-faire, took for granted individual conditions of privacy and isolation... It was a society where each unit, each family and household, led their secret lives with an almost neurotic antipathy to external interference [4]. It was the age of the private gentleman who wanted nothing but to be left alone... He could ignore politics, the Press, the beggar who happened to be dying of hunger in the coach-house; he need feel no pressure of social or national existence... There has probably never been a time when England was – in the sociological phrase – less integrated"[6]. Dickens wrote in contrast to the society in which he witnessed around him. He brought together a unity of the two worlds and attempted to bring them together. This goes along with the purpose of reform in the workhouses. All these people have the same outlook and the same philosophy of life, a philosophy which that private gentleman, Fagin, sums up as looking out for number 1 [7]. The author additioned human nature and the relationship of the individual to his environment. In Oliver Twist, Dickens attempts to free his characters of any influence of their environment. He muddles the message of the novel by making Oliver immune to an environment which is denounced as necessarily corrupting. Dickens created Oliver's character to be virtuous and innocent. He put many stressed tests on him in the course of the book [7]. Dickens is unique in the way he often talks to the reader in "one to one" conversations [6]. He does this quite frequently throughout Oliver Twist as a way of amplifying what he feels the reader should be attentive to. He also uses this technique to invoke stage directions to the book. Acting, indeed, as Dickens implies in his facetious but revealing preamble to Chapter 17, is the clue to the mode by which we are to be moved by the persona and events of the story. “We must put ourselves in their place act as they are acting” [2]. This book was clearly made to show the reality of the world. Dickens does not create a dream world that captures the optimism of readers. He is truly showing things as they really are; how the world really is. He carefully planned his setting and his description of places so that he could capture every detail of the hard life. Gilbert Keith Chesterton said about this author [6]: In considering Dickens, as we almost always must consider him, as a man of rich originality, we may possibly miss the forces from which he drew even his original energy. It is not well for man to be alone. We, in the modern world, are ready enough to admit that when it is applied to some problem of monasticism or of an ecstatic life. But we will not admit that our modern artistic claim to absolute originality is really a claim to absolute unsociability; a claim to absolute loneliness. The anarchist is at least as solitary as the ascetic. And the men of very vivid vigour in literature, the men such as Dickens, have generally displayed a large sociability towards the society of letters, always expressed in the happy pursuit of pre-existent themes, sometimes expressed, as in the case of Molière or Sterne, in downright plagiarism. For even theft is a confession of our dependence on society. In Dickens, however, this element of the original foundations on which he worked is quite especially difficult to determine. This is partly due to the fact that for the present reading public he is practically the only one of his long line that is read at all. He sums up Smollett and Goldsmith, but he also destroys them. This one giant, being closest to us, cuts off from our view even the giants that begat him. But much more is this difficulty due to the fact that Dickens mixed up with the old material, materials so subtly modern, so made of the French Revolution, that the whole is transformed. If we want the best example of this, the best example is Oliver Twist.

Conclusion

The concern with specific social problems is the most noticeable distinction between Victorian literature and the literature of the preceding centuries. The title of the book by William Thackeray suggests the idea: Vanity Fair. The treasures of Vanity Fair, that is, money and position, are desirable but transient. The gaiety, the mask of the ball, does not stay with the person when he faces death. Thackeray does not underestimate the importance of having a home, clothes and food; but he does expose the cruelty, the deception, the futility of making possessions and power the only aim in life. The book is saturated with the duplicity of social climbers and the weakness of human nature. The vanity of man is universal and ever present. We can assign the following social problems which could be seen in Vanity Fair: • women still berate and betray women; • relatives still fight over money; • mothers still sell their daughters for popularity, money, or position. Yet, there are some people, Thackeray indicates, who do not bow down to the idols of Vanity Fair. Charles Dickens felt that Oliver Twist should be a message of social reform. Dickens seems to create his characters to open the reader's eyes to the true characteristics of their nature. We are apt to forget how early-Victorian society, the society of the laissez-faire, took for granted individual conditions of privacy and isolation... It was a society where each unit, each family and household, led their secret lives with an almost neurotic antipathy to external interference. It was the age of the private gentleman who wanted nothing but to be left alone... He could ignore politics, the Press, the beggar who happened to be dying of hunger in the coach-house; he need feel no pressure of social or national existence... Dickens wrote in contrast to the society in which he witnessed around him. He brought together a unity of the two worlds and attempted to bring them together. Dickens is unique in the way he often talks to the reader in "one to one" conversations. This book was clearly made to show the reality of the world.

PART 2. Approaches and manners of the social problems transmission

2.1. The problem of poverty and social inequalty in society. The authors’ approaches to these problems

конецформыначалоформыIt is always instructive to give special thought to how a writer begins a novel. Almost everyone has had difficulty in starting to write something — even a letter. Consider how much more agonizing the novelist's position may be when he is faced with setting down the opening words of the crucial first chapter. The method chosen is, naturally, regulated by the overall organization of the book, and there are many possible solutions. A traditional technique much adhered to is to begin in medias res, in the midst of things — that is, at the height of the action — and then gradually to fill in the background. Although Dickens uses this in-the-middle-of-things approach in Oliver Twist, the reader won't be able to identify it right away. Relatively to the other works of Dickens Oliver Twist is not of great value, but it is of great importance. With the exception of some gorgeous passages, both of humour and horror, the interest of the book lay not so much in its revelation of Dickens's literary genius as in its revelation of those moral, personal, and political instincts which were the make-up of his character and the permanent support of that literary genius. It is by far the most depressing of all his books; it is in some ways the most irritating; yet its ugliness gives the last touch of honesty to all that spontaneous and splendid output. Here as elsewhere Dickens is close to all the permanent human things. He is close to religion, which has never allowed the thousand devils on its churches to stop the dancing of its bells. He is allied to the people, to the real poor, who love nothing so much as to take a cheerful glass and to talk about funerals. The extremes of his gloom and gaiety are the mark of religion and democracy; they mark him off from the moderate happiness of philosophers, and from that stoicism which is the virtue and the creed of aristocrats [7]. Critics have complained of Shakespeare and others for putting comic episodes into a tragedy [6]. This first element was present in Dickens, and it is very powerfully present in Oliver Twist. It required a man with the courage and coarseness of Dickens actually to put tragic episodes into a farce. But they are not caught up into the story at all. In Oliver Twist, however, the thing broke out with an almost brutal inspiration. Characters which are not very clearly conceived as regards their own psychology are yet, at certain moments, managed so as to shake to its foundations our own psychology. Bill Sikes is not exactly a real man, but for all that he is a real murderer. Nancy is not really impressive as a living woman; but she makes a lovely corpse. Something quite childish and eternal in us, something which is shocked with the mere simplicity of death, quivers when we read of those repeated blows or see Sikes cursing the tell-tale cur who will follow his bloody foot-prints. And this strange, sublime, vulgar melodrama, which is painfully real, reaches its hideous height in that fine scene of the death of Sikes. There is in this and similar scenes something of the quality of Hogarth and many other English moralists of the early eighteenth century. It is not easy to define this Hogarthian quality in words, beyond saying that it is a sort of alphabetical realism, like the cruel candour of children. But it has about it these two special principles which separate it from all that we call realism in our time. First, that with us a moral story means a story about moral people; with them a moral story meant more often a story about immoral people. Second, that with us realism is always associated with some subtle view of morals; with them realism was always associated with some simple view of morals. The end of Bill Sikes exactly in the way that the law would have killed him – this is a Hogarthian incident; it carries on that tradition of startling and shocking platitude. The first Dickens’ element was that he would have found it easier to believe in a ghost than in a vision of the Virgin with angels. There, for good or evil, however, was the root of the old diablerie in Dickens, and there it is in Oliver Twist. The second of the new Dickens elements is equally indisputable and separate. This subject is social oppression. It is surely fair to say that no one could have gathered from Pickwick how this question boiled in the blood of the author of Pickwick. There are, indeed, passages, particularly in connection with Mr. Pickwick in the debtor's prison, which prove to us, looking back on a whole public career, that Dickens had been from the beginning bitter and inquisitive about the problem of our civilisation. No one could have imagined at that time that this bitterness ran in an unbroken river under all the surges of that superb gaiety and exuberance. With Oliver Twist this sterner side of Dickens was suddenly revealed. For the very first pages of Oliver Twist are stern even when they are funny, they amuse. The difference between the old easy humour and this new harsh humour is a difference not of degree but of kind [6]. Dickens enters the social and political war, and the first stroke he deals is not only significant but even startling. Fully to see this we must appreciate the national situation. It was an age of reform, and even of radical reform; but only too many of the reformers took the line of attacking everything and anything that was opposed to some particular theory among the many political theories that possessed the end of the eighteenth century. Some had so much perfected the perfect theory of republicanism that they almost lay awake at night because Queen Victoria had a crown on her head [19]. Others were so certain that mankind had hitherto been merely strangled in the bonds of the State that they saw truth only in the destruction of tariffs or of by-laws. The greater part of that generation held that clearness, economy, and a hard common sense, would soon destroy the errors that had been erected by the superstitions and sentimentalities of the past. In creating many other modern things reformers created the modern workhouse, and when Dickens came out to fight it was the first thing that he broke with his battle-axe. His revolt was simply and solely the eternal revolt; it was the revolt of the weak against the strong. He did not dislike this or that argument for oppression; he disliked oppression. He disliked a certain look on the face of a man when he looks down on another man. That which pedants of that time and this time would have called the sentimentalism of Dickens was really simply the detached sanity of Dickens. He would have cared quite as little for the fugitive explanations of the Fabian Society or of the modern scientific Socialist. He saw that under many forms there was one fact, the tyranny of man over man; and he struck at it when he saw it, whether it was old or new. When Dickens found that after a hundred economic arguments and granting a hundred economic considerations, the fact remained that paupers in modern workhouses were much too afraid of the beadle, he struck suddenly and at once. This is what makes the opening chapters of Oliver Twist so curious and important. The very fact of Dickens's distance from, and independence of, the elaborate financial arguments of his time, makes more definite and dazzling his sudden assertion that he sees the old human tyranny in front of him as plain as the sun at noon-day. Dickens attacks the modern workhouse with a sort of inspired simplicity. He alone is attacking things because they are bad. He encounters evil with that beautiful surprise which, as it is the beginning of all real pleasure, is also the beginning of all righteous indignation. He enters the workhouse just as Oliver Twist enters it, as a little child [7]. The real poignancy is a very good study in that strong school of social criticism which Dickens represented. A modern realist describing the dreary workhouse would have made all the children utterly crushed, not daring to speak at all, not expecting anything, not hoping anything, past all possibility of affording even an ironical contrast or a protest of despair. The whole tragedy of that incident is in the fact that Oliver Twist does expect the universe to be kind to him, that he does believe that he is living in a just world. He comes before the Guardians, indeed, with gloomy experiences, but he comes with a happy philosophy. He knows that there are wrongs of man to be reviled; but he believes also that there are rights of man to be demanded. It has often been remarked as a singular fact that the French poor, who stand in historic tradition as typical of all the desperate men who have dragged down tyranny, were, as a matter of fact, by no means worse off than the poor of many other European countries before the Revolution. They were the one oppressed people that simply asked for justice; they were the one Parish Boy who innocently asked for more [6]. The preface to Oliver Twist, in defending his choice of subject, strikes the note of compromise, and at the same time declares in simple terms the author's purpose. He tells how he had resolved to give a true picture of a band of thieves, seeing no reason "why the dregs of life should not serve the purpose of a moral". He had no misgiving; to him Bill Sikes and Nancy and Charley Bates were convincing figures, though they never once utter a vile word – which, as a matter of fact, they one and all did in every other breath. He did not deliberately sacrifice truth to refinement. Moreover, he was convinced that he had done a moral service to the world. That both these ends were attained by help of unexampled buoyancy of spirit, an unfailing flow of the healthiest mirth, the kindliest humour, should in consistency appear to us the strangest thing of all – to us who strive so hard for "atmosphere ", insist so strongly upon "objectivity" in the author. Dickens troubled himself with no theory or argument. He wrote as his soul dictated, and surely could not have done better [19]. He was yet possessed with a sense of the absolute reality of everything he pictured forth. His imagination worked with perfect freedom, had the fullest scope, yet never came into conflict with the prepossessions of his public. He was the born story-teller of a certain day, of a certain class. He labours his utmost to preserve illusion. Dickens created individuals. At times Dickens's idealism goes further, leading him into misrepresentation of social facts. Refining and humouring, even from his point of view, must have their limits [6]. From his duty of teaching a moral lesson Dickens never departs. He has an unfailing sense of the high importance of his work from this point of view. And his morality is of the simplest; a few plain ordinances serve for human guidance; to infringe them is to be marked for punishment more or less sensational; to follow the path of the just is to ensure a certain amount of prosperity, and reward unlimited in buoyancy of heart. Equally of course, justice is tempered with mercy. He gave form and substance to the ideal of goodness and purity, of honour, justice, mercy, whereby the dim multitudes falteringly seek to guide their steps. This was his task in life, to embody the better dreams of ordinary men; to fix them as bright realities. He achieved it in the strength of a faultless sympathy following the true instincts. In the novels of Thackeray, essay is so much mixed up with narrative, and comment with characterization, that they can hardly be thoroughly appreciated in poor editions. The temptation to skip is almost irresistible, when wisdom can be purchased only at the expense of eyesight. конецформыначалоформыThe social strata and the situation in Vanity Fair are made clear. Miss Pinkerton, a snob and name-dropper, honours only those who have money and position. Thackeray outlines Becky's background and her position at Miss Pinkerton's, and reveals something of her temperament when she routs the old lady by speaking to her in French and by refusing to be intimidated. Her triumph over Miss Pinkerton indicates her ability to take care of herself. Thackeray's fine hand at characterization is apparent in this conversation. Miss Pinkerton says, “I never have seen the individual who has dared in my own house to question my authority. I have nourished a viper in my bosom.” Becky answers, “A viper – a fiddlestick… You took me because I was useful… Get me a situation – we hate each other and I am ready to go” [15]. On the other hand, here is Rebecca being coy: “Starting back as timid as a fawn. She had previously made a respectful virgin-like curtsy to the gentleman, and her modest eyes gazed so perseveringly on the carpet that it was a wonder how she should have found an opportunity to see him” [15]. The author makes particular fun of mothers anxious to marry off their daughters, and pities Becky who has no help in this area. From the first scene of this book, Thackeray begins his revelation and evaluation of the false values of Vanity Fair. конецформыначалоформыS Snobbery begins early in Vanity Fair. Dobbin's schoolmates shun and laugh at him because his tuition is paid in goods. Osborne thinks himself better than Dobbin because Osborne's father is a gentleman and keeps a carriage. Even when Dobbin fights for Osborne, the latter is ashamed of him. After Dobbin whips the bully, Dobbin improves in scholarship; his father, for the first time, respects him and publicly gives him money. Loathsome as Sir Pitt is, he has the refreshing characteristic of making no pretenses and in this, and he is something like Mr. Sedley. Both have enough money to scorn the opinion of society [14]. Characteristic of Thackeray's frequent reversion to the essay, he rambles observations directed to the reader, telling how he might have changed the story; he closes the installment with a discourse on how times have changed. Part of the conflict in Vanity Fair arises from the frantic, often questionable, struggle of all characters, except Dobbin, Amelia, and Briggs to rise in social and financial power. Plot centers on conflict; Thackeray loses no opportunity to point out this struggle. He satirizes the naming of children after celebrities, and mentions the Crawley ancestor, the first baronet of the Tape and Sealing-Wax Office, who was impeached for embezzlement—as were other honest gentlemen [13]. конецформыначалоформыThe atmosphere at Queen's Crawley is shown in the following conversation. Sir Pitt says, “How's Buty, Hodson? I'm afraid he's better, Sir Pitt” [15]. Sir Pitt brags that there is timber worth six thousand pounds along his driveway and immediately has two little boys flogged for gathering sticks. Although Sir Pitt isn't fit for anything (he can neither read nor spell), yet he is courted by ministers and statesmen. He rates high in Vanity Fair. Often the author intrudes to tell the reader what to think. With cutting sarcasm Thackeray points out the foibles of a noble family. Miss Crawley is well treated “for she had a balance at her banker's which would have made her beloved anywhere” [9]. Thackeray wishes someone would send him a rich old aunt, whom he would treat with all kindness, money being all-important in Vanity Fair. He says, “I, for my part, have known a five-pound note to interpose and knock up a half-century's attachment between two brethren; and can't but admire, as I think what a fine and durable thing Love is among worldly people.” And he adds, “What charming reconciler and peacemaker money is” [17]. конецформыначалоформыRich people like Lady Crawley take needy people's services as their due. Even Rawdon realizes that his aunt Mrs Bute Crawley is trying to entangle him with Rebecca so that she won't become the third wife of Sir Pitt. The irony of Vanity Fair is that the people pretend to feel emotions until their pocketbooks, passions, or family names are touched; then they revert to savagery. The worship of money shows in Mrs. Bute Crawley's taking charge of the household ostensibly to protect Miss Crawley, actually to get her money. The worship of name and position shows in the horror the Crawleys feel because Rawdon has married a governess. Becky's friends say her mother was of a fine French family; her enemies say she was an opera girl. However, if a person has money, like Sir Pitt, he may marry whomever he likes, and the family will conceal its disapproval [8]. конецформыначалоформыThackeray leaves no doubt of Mrs. Bute's motivations in regard to Miss Crawley's money; but greed is nothing new in Vanity Fair. Commenting on how much his sisters think of Miss Swartz, George tells Amelia, “My dear child, they would have loved you if you had had two hundred thousand pounds.” Thackeray says, “I know some respectable people who don't consider themselves at liberty to indulge in friendship for any individual who has not a certain competency, or place in society… People in Vanity Fair fasten on to rich folks quite naturally” [9]. Another loyal citizen of Vanity Fair, Joseph is proud to speak to Dobbin when the latter appears important in military uniform. Joseph assumes an air of authority, gives out military information and bravado. He likes the Belgian servant to call him "my lord." конецформыначалофорTThe topic of discussion and chief preoccupation of Vanity Fair is money. Miss Crawley thinks of how Rawdon might have married a brewer's daughter with a quarter of a million. Miss Crawley's relatives try to keep in her favor by sending tokens of affection. Later when Countess Southdown is eager to convert and cure Miss Crawley, Pitt says, "Remember she has seventy thousand pounds; think of her age, and her highly nervous and delicate condition: I know that she has destroyed the will which was made in my brother's favour: it is by soothing that wounded spirit that we must lead it into the right path, and not by frightening it . . ." Rebecca has shown that she can make money and spend it. She can also climb into society. As for Amelia, her only friend is Dobbin, but she neither realizes nor appreciates his devotion. When Becky is recognized as part of the family by the new Sir Pitt's invitation, she takes another step toward establishment in Vanity Fair. Thackeray makes some pointed comments on governesses keeping their places, on death and funerals, and on the conscience of Vanity Fair. He points out that there are things Vanity Fair cannot buy. Becky crawls up the social ladder with every opportunity. Thackeray compares Becky's social climb under the eyes of knowing servants to a spider's efforts: "So you see Molly, the housemaid, of a morning, watching a spider in the doorpost lay his thread and laboriously crawl up it, until, tired of the sport, she raises her broom and sweeps away the thread and the artificer." The analogy foreshadows what will happen to Rebecca [1]. While Rebecca gains favour with Sir Pitt, and loses the confidence of Lady Jane, Rawdon gains Lady Jane's affection—leading eventually to Rebecca's catastrophe. Amelia, the victim of her own soft heart and the crushing poverty that brings out the selfishness and senility of her parents, perceives that Georgy's welfare demands his transferal to his grandfather Osborne. One of the few characters untouched by Vanity Fair is loyal Mr. Clapp, who remains faithful to the Sedleys, no matter what their financial condition. конецформыначалоформыThe inhabitants of Vanity Fair are willing to shut their eyes to Lord Steyne's immoralities because he has both money and position. Lord Steyne's prediction that Becky can't stay at the top of Vanity Fair society proves prophetic. Circumstances are closing in about Becky: the cache in her desk will betray her. At first, only the servants have talked about her; now the people at Court notice Lord Steyne's absorbed attention to her. Speaking of Amelia's final surrender of Georgy, Thackeray says, "Poverty and misery for all, want and degradation for her parents, injustice to the boy—one by one the outworks of the little citadel were taken, in which the poor soul passionately guarded her only love and treasure" [16]. Grandfather Osborne tries to mold little George in the shape of Vanity Fair when he measures grandfather Sedley's goodness by the amount of money he has had. Bullock shows his greed when his first interest at his father-in-law's death is how much money Georgy has inherited. Thackeray describes the portals of society as being guarded by "grooms of the chamber with flaming silver forks with which they prong all those who have not the right of the entrée . . . the honest newspaper-fellow who sits in the hall . . . dies after a little time. He can't survive the glare of fashion long. It scorches him up, as the presence of Jupiter in full dress wasted that poor imprudent Semele—a giddy moth of a creature who ruined herself by venturing out of her natural atmosphere." Thackeray comments on society: ". . . all the delights of life, I say,—would go to the deuce, if people did but act upon their silly principles, and avoid those whom they dislike and abuse."

2.2. The problem of poverty from the stylistic point of view

Vanity Fair, though it does not include the whole extent of Thackeray's genius, is the most vigorous exhibition of its leading characteristics. In freshness of feeling, elasticity of movement, and unity of aim, it is favourably distinguished from its successors, which too often give the impression of being composed of successive accumulations of incidents and persons, that drift into the story on no principle of artistic selection and combination. The style, while it has the raciness of individual peculiarity and the careless case of familiar gossip, is as clear, pure, and flexible as if its sentences had been subjected to repeated revision, and every pebble which obstructed its lucid and limpid flow had been laboriously removed [16]. The characterization is almost perfect of its kind. Becky Sharp, the Marquis of Steyne, Sir Pitt Crawley and the whole Crawley family, Amelia, the Osbornes, Major Dobbin, not to mention others, are as well known to most cultivated people as their most intimate acquaintances in the Vanity Fair of the actual world. It has always seemed to us that Mr. Osborne, the father of George, a representation of the most hateful phase of English character, is one of the most vividly true and life-like of all the delineations in the book, and more of a typical personage than even Becky or the Marquis of Steyne. Thackeray's theory of characterization proceeds generally on the assumption that the acts of men and women are directed not by principle, but by instincts, selfish or amiable, toleration of human weakness is possible only by lowering the standard of human capacity and obligation, and that the preliminary condition of an accurate knowledge of human character is distrust of ideals and repudiation of patterns. This view is narrow, and by no means covers all the facts of history and human life, but what relative truth it has is splendidly illustrated in Vanity Fair. There is not a person in the book who excites the reader's respect, and not one who fails to excite his interest. The morbid quickness of the author's perceptions of the selfish element, even in his few amiable characters, is a constant source of surprise. The novel not only has no hero, but implies the non-existence of heroism. Yet the fascination of the book is indisputable, and it is due to a variety of causes besides its mere exhibition of the worldly side of life [14]. Among these, the perfect intellectual honesty of the writer, the sad or satirical sincerity with which he gives in his evidence against human nature, is the most prominent. With all his lightness of manner, he is essentially a witness under oath, and testifies only to what he is confident he knows. It is here that the individuality of the man appears, and it presents a combination of sentiments and powers more original perhaps than the matter of his works. Take from Vanity Fair that special element of interest which comes from Thackeray's own nature, and it would lose the greater portion of its fascination. It is not so much what is done, as the way in which it is done, that surprises and delights; and the manner is always inimitable, even when the matter is common [8]. In Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens the events occur in a workhouse, an institution common to most localities. In this manner, Dickens announces that he is going to deal with topics of general import and focuses attention on the workhouse by leaving its immediate setting vague. In his conversation with Mrs. Mann, Bumble reveals that he could learn nothing about Oliver's parentage. This persistent obscurity surrounding the boy's origins reinforces the atmosphere of mystery evoked in the opening scenes of the book. конецформыначалоформыThe orphan's forsaken situation is further emphasized by the manner in which he received his name. Bumble explains that the foundlings are provided with names arbitrarily selected in alphabetical order. Consequently, Oliver Twist comes between Swubble and Unwin. This process of acquiring a name is governed by the operation of chance and signals that a good deal of random chance is in store for the lad. Appropriately, Oliver is martyred by fate when it falls to his lot to make the perilous attempt to get more food. In his caustic indictments of folly and evil, Dickens utilizes irony with devastating effect. The literal expression in irony is the opposite of the meaning that an utterance is intended to convey. The tone may be light and relieved by humour, but the serious intent is unmistakable. конецформыначалоформыDickens continues his violent assaults on the conditions fostered by the Poor Law of 1834, which instituted the workhouses and the attendant brutal and cynical treatment of helpless paupers, young and old alike [19]. The practice of deliberately starving the unfortunates arouses the author's furious indignation, and he denounces it again and again. Furthermore, he does not spare individuals who take advantage of the victims of poverty in order to exploit their labour at the cost of a mite of food. We are again reminded how much Oliver is at the mercy of chance. If the dimsighted magistrate had not glanced about in search of the inkstand, he would not have noticed the boy's frightened expression, and the documents of apprenticeship would have been signed, dooming Oliver to the horrors of cleaning chimneys under a heartless master [6]. A variety of irony is dramatic irony, a term applied to a situation in a play when the actors are ignorant of the true significance of the circumstances or the words spoken, while the audience is informed of the actual state of affairs. A highly ironical development of that sort occurs in the scene between the undertaker and Mr. Bumble. When Sowerberry compliments the beadle on his elegant coat button, Bumble explains proudly that it is a reward from the board: "The die is the same as the porochial seal — the Good Samaritan healing the sick and bruised man." The speakers are oblivious to the cutting irony [12]. Dickens regularly injects irony into a single descriptive phrase. Thus Bumble is dubbed "that dignitary" and the like, but his true nature is transparent. Often, the application of "philosopher" carries negative connotations, particularly when used in connection with the political economists who were apologists for the current attitudes Dickens found so distasteful. These "philosophers" were individuals that he would have share Oliver's dog-food leftovers [4]. At the time Dickens was writing, "philosophy" might be used with reference to various branches of learning. But the term means literally "love of wisdom," so the irony is potent when Dickens refers to individuals he considers to be guilty of an appalling lack of wisdom and logic as "philosophers." Similarly, when he describes Mrs. Mann's less-than-kindly treatment of orphans, she is declared to be "a very great experimental philosopher" [19]. конецформыначалоформыWhen setting out the action of a tale, a writer has access to two principal means: the dramatic and the narrative. When the dramatic technique is used, the author reports fully what is said and done so that the reader is, in effect, a direct witness of what takes place, as if watching a dramatic performance on the stage. When he uses this technique, Dickens's personality is withdrawn — but not for long, because he can seldom resist the temptation to interject some comment or interpretation [6]. The dramatic method offers the advantages of vividness and immediacy. Obviously, the contents of a typical novel cannot all be dramatized, owing to limitations of length. Also, the dramatic scene gains in vitality when it is reserved for occasions calling for maximum impact. At other times, the novelist employs the narrative method, where the reader is told what happens but is not presumed to be actually present. Narration is used to summarize and to condense; it serves to fill time gaps and to provide a transition between dramatic scenes. Chapter 3 begins with a narrative account of Oliver's punishment. For most of the rest of the chapter, the scenes involving Oliver, Bumble, Gamfield, the board, and the magistrates, take the form of pure drama. In the last two paragraphs, the author reverts to narration to conclude the episode. The same alternation of technique can be observed throughout the book, and in most fiction. конецформыначалоформыAlthough Dickens has the greatest scorn for the privileged orders whom he holds responsible for the oppression and exploitation of those less fortunate, he is aware of vileness on all levels of society. In the development of his plots, Dickens makes liberal use of accident and coincidence, with the result that probability is weakened. It is more artistically effective to have turns of plot grow out of character rather than out of chance events. The change of direction in Oliver's life is here determined by an alteration in his character [7]. Oliver has fallen into unsavory company. The hue and cry is vividly described with the staccato effect of the words echoing the impetuosity of the people rushing to join the chase. By means of terse, parallel expressions which contain much vigorous alliteration, a turbulent scene is built up as old and young desert their normal occupations for the thrill of the pursuit. Brownlow's friend, Mr. Grimwig, is another minor character labelled with an idiosyncrasy. Grimwig is on a higher social and intellectual plane than Bumble, so his oral quirk is evidently a deliberate invention, in contrast to Bumble's pretensions and blunders. In sketching Grimwig, Dickens uses the authorial privilege of confiding directly to the reader what he knows about the character's personality. This assumption of an omniscient viewpoint that can examine a character's innermost thoughts and feelings is an economical way of revealing a minor figure [4]. конецFfFFagin and Nancy share the same atmosphere of mutual distrust and suspicion. A period of solitary confinement makes the boy inclined to be liked and do anything at any price. конецформыначалоформыIt has been illustrated how poverty and misery hardens and brutalizes everyone exposed to its effects. Dickens has more faith in the ability of the benevolent impulses of worthy people as an agency of true justice than in the impersonal doings of legal machinery. In any event, Dickens would elevate the claims of mercy and charity above the dictates of arbitrary justice. It could be argued that he comes perilously close to contending that the end justifies the means, with the elusive provision that the end be laudable and the means innocuous [2].конецформыначалоформы

конецформыначалоформыThe meeting of Nancy and Rose — a specimen of pure goodness confronting a tattered emissary from the camp of evil — is one of the big dramatic scenes of the book. Dickens successfully keeps himself out of the narrative, although some of Nancy's high-flown discourse sounds more like Dickens talking than one of Fagin's pupils. Nancy at first assumes a defiant attitude, but that is thawed by the warmth of Miss Maylie's benevolence, reminding us once more of the power of Miss Maylie's goodheartedness. конецформыначалоформыIt is worth noticing how subtly Dickens treats Oliver's reunion with Brownlow and Mrs. Bedwin. We are allowed to witness the tender reception of Oliver by the old housekeeper. But the meeting between man and boy is neither shown nor alluded to; the reader is encouraged to apply his imagination in this instance. Dickens probably recognized that two successive scenes of similar emotional content would be excessive, so he made a shrewd choice. In this section, there is a re-emphasis on the dismal character of the criminal's life style. Chapter 39 shows us Sikes and Nancy subjected to the normal conditions of their existence: disease, lack of money, and filthy living conditions. Worse than these are the barriers that divide them from all humanity. Alienated from the world at large, they are further separated from each other by mutual fear and distrust. At the same time, escape from the life they lead is virtually impossible, for they are all tangled in the same web of depending on one another. This state of siege and hostility within has nurtured the rather implausible alliance between Sikes and Nancy [4]. Repeatedly throughout the book, we are shown the criminals' perverted sense of values. For them, violent death, arrest, imprisonment, and execution are part of the normal patterns of existence. To be sure, these are situations to be avoided, but they are nevertheless inevitable for most. The police court where Dawkins is arraigned symbolizes the ultimate end of "depravity, or poverty, or an habitual acquaintance with both," the final act commencing in a "close and unwholesome" room, having "dirt-discoloured" walls, a "blackened" ceiling, a "smoky bust," "a dusty clock," "a taint on all animate matter," and "thick greasy scum on every inanimate object." конецформыначалоформыBy the stubborn survival of benevolent traits in Nancy, Dickens underscores his belief that human nature is basically good. In spite of her awful circumstances, she cannot take part in injuring Oliver, but neither will she turn against the amoral criminals who have placed their faith in her. The struggle to reconcile these conflicting demands has been torturing the girl. She has had her eyes opened to the vileness of her environment but feels inescapably caught in it [19]. Dickens never deceives his readers: he scatters an abundance of significant clues about that all gradually fit into an unbroken pattern. This dexterous technique can only be fully appreciated if the novel is closely studied a second time after the first reading. We can see now that, although at the outset the story promised to be a chronological recital starting from the hero's birth, the chain of events leading up to the opening situation was set in motion over twenty-five years before. The flashback technique is used to supply essential details of the past, the point of view coming from various characters. All the details seem more believable thanks to the fact that now there is agreement between people with opposing interests. конецформыначалоформыThe tempo of the narrative continues to increase as the novel rushes to a conclusion. A high state of excitement is set in motion by the rapid succession of stirring events. As a counterpoint, the reader is conscious of important activities, happening at the same time in various places. конецформыначаDickens has ingeniously fitted the pieces together by stages, enlightening all of the characters while subjecting the reader to a minimum of repetition. One last mystery is dispelled in the process — the mysteries of Rose Maylie's origin. That issue was hinted at — a technique called "foreshadowing" — when Brownlow guessed that the time would come when Rose might have great "need of firmness" [6]. конецформыначалоформыIn grim depiction of Fagin's last days, Dickens presents a harrowing picture of the ultimate penalty of a life of evil. Again we see excruciating isolation visited upon the criminal. In the courtroom, the accused loses all feeling except the crushing awareness that no human being has an interest in him except to see him die. He has been an unswerving enemy of society, and now all men are united against him. The final price of roguery is degradation and death. Last конецформына LL chapter completes the traditional dramatic distribution of rewards and punishments. Giving Monks half the remains of his father's legacy is one more concession to the claims of benevolence and mercy. Monks is, however, too far gone in his life of crime to be restored to upright ways. Nevertheless, in his concluding words, Dickens reaffirms his conviction that the exercise of benevolence and mercy is a precondition for happiness.

2.3. Similarity and differences in the authors’ approaches

Thackeray allowed himself more liberty than Dickens – not without protest from the many-headed. There existed this difference between the two men. Thackeray had a kind of strength not given to his brother in art. Only in one way can the public evince its sympathy with an author – by purchasing his books. It follows, then, that Dickens attached great importance to the varying demand for his complete novels, or for the separate monthly parts at their time of issue. In 1847-48 he hit the big time with Vanity Fair. Thackeray finally had a name that gained notice and reviews in journals such as the Edinburgh Review. Thackeray followed in Dickens's footsteps with a lecturing tour of America. A reprise of his tour of the British Isles speaking on The English Humourists, these lectures were profitable for Thackeray and also provided influential views of both Swift and Sterne. Thackeray saw America through the eyes of friendly hosts, and he was more careful not to offend than Dickens had been, choosing, for instance, not to write a profitable account of his journey. Thackeray was also more tolerant of slavery – he wrote home to his mother that he did not recognize blacks as equals, though he did condemn the institution on moral grounds. Susceptible to criticism from his hosts that the living conditions for English workers were worse than those for slaves, he chose to believe (at least on this first tour) that the whipping of slaves was rare and that families were not normally separated on the auction block. Among the professional Victorian writers Thackeray probably has the reputation of being the least businesslike. He is known as a lucky, careless genius, a lazy giant with great powers and equal weaknesses. Explaining the differences between Thackeray and Dickens as professional writers, Anthony Trollope – certainly one of the most business-manlike of authors – wrote [18]: The one was steadfast, industrious, full of purpose, never doubting of himself always putting his best foot foremost and standing firmly on it when he got there; with no inward trepidation, with no moments in which he was half inclined to think that this race was not for his winning, this goal not to be reached by his struggles. The sympathy of friends was good to him, but he could have done without it. The good opinion which he had of himself was never shaken by adverse criticism; and the criticism on the other side, by which it was exalted, came from the enumeration of the number of copies sold. He was a firm reliant man, very little prone to change, who, when he had discovered the nature of his own talent, knew how to do the very best with it. It may almost be said that Thackeray was the very opposite of this [18]. Unsteadfast, idle, changeable of purpose, aware of his intellect but not trusting it, no man ever failed more generally than he to put his best foot foremost. Full as his works are of pathos, full of humour, full of love and charity, tending, as they always do, to truth and honour and manly worth and womanly modesty, excelling, as they seem to me to do, most other written precepts that I know, they always seem to lack something that might have been there. There is a touch of vagueness which indicates that his pen was not firm while he was using it. I can fancy as the sheets went from him every day he told himself, in regard to every sheet, that it was a failure. Dickens was quite sure of his sheets [18]. James Fields pointed out [3]: It is indisputable that Thackeray produced much of his work under the pressure of deadlines. That need not mean he was lazy. John Sutherland has argued that Thackeray may even have written better under pressure than at leisure [13]. Thackeray was also the businessman and professional writer. This part of the picture can be filled out from two other sources: his comments in his fiction on the craft of writing and the facts of his relations with his publishers revealed in letters, contracts and publishers' account books [14]. Forster and Dickens, as has been suggested by Craig Howes, represented the author in a romantic light, as a dignified, inspired artist [3]. The author's role, according to this view, was that of inspirer and castigator - as social conscience for the betterment of society [3]. Michael Lund has cited various nineteenth-century versions of this view suggesting that authorship is not work like other trades or professions but rather a gift or inspired avocation [19]. Thackeray, on the other hand, had long been speaking and writing from a different perspective, emphasizing the trade relations, admitting the work involved, and making fun of pretentious writing and pretentious writers. Thus, the controversy over the dignity of literature boils down to one side trying to uphold an ideal and a social responsibility (which they see as doing good) and the other side trying to be honest and unpretentious (which they see as being true). The object of fiction for the one is to change society; for the other, to understand it. There is no resolution for such a controversy. There is a tawdry irony in the notion of Dickens with tradesman connections in his backgrounds. But Thackeray's view cuts through the pomposity and cants about the dignity of literature to the heart of the ideals of his profession –to love and truth, upholding the ideals without losing sight of the mundane business facts of authors writing for money. Of course, this truth is not the whole truth any more than is that other much better known image Thackeray created of the novelist as the preacher in cap and bells [14]. That is to say, Thackeray was not just an exposer of shame, nor was he just a satirist. One need not agree with Trollope that the vagueness or ambivalence in Thackeray's work reveals lack of commitment or conviction or strength [18]. What some of his contemporaries thought of as a feigned "want of earnestness," an "undervaluing of his art," a carelessness about details, plain ineptitude, or tired repetitions in narrative structures may better be understood as the deliberate manifestations of a cast of mind that rejected, or at least suspected, the values represented by earnestness and narrative order. Thackeray's narrative technique undermines surface realism and the sense of certitude and stable values implied by authorial omniscience. Thackeray saw more clearly than most of his contemporaries the problems of trying to create or capture "reality" in "fiction". Jack Rawlins seems not to have understood the implication of the narrative strategy, deploring Thackeray's refusal to adopt the novelist's responsibility to impose a moral order beneficial to society [9]." For Thackeray, fiction was fun, and the illusion of reality was fascinating. Thackeray addresses the reader, imagines Jones yawning over the number, and "reserves the right to switch the course of his narrative whenever and however it suits him", because much as he likes creating the illusion of reality, he likes more reminding his readers that in actuality he, Thackeray, is telling the reader a story. That is realism with a significant philosophical point: that the author, like the reader, is a subject to human limitations of knowledge and judgment. Thackeray's realism is one that his contemporaries and, it seems, many later generations of Thackeray's readers have been unprepared to see or accept. Thackeray's sardonic view of aristocratic airs, his tracing of meanness and snobbery from top to bottom of the social scale, his "failure" to produce a moral framework within which the indeterminacies can come to moral closure have variously been explained as gentlemanly detachment, as declining to be the moral enthusiast, or as a weakness of spirit or lack of moral fiber. He was very much aware of the commercial exigencies of novel writing, and it was not his aim to disrupt profits by focusing attention on his private beliefs and values. But there was good and ample reason for him to introduce into his fiction those elements that so irritated John Forster and Charles Dickens and that apparently disappointed Trollope and John Sutherland [13, 18]. Thackeray reminds his readers constantly and truthfully that the puppet show is not real. To him, the truth about the world included the truth about writing fiction for a living, Thackeray's methods expose the sham realism in which the author pretends to know not only what his characters think and do but by what moral standards characters should he measured. Thackeray's respect for the "uncertainty principle," the humility with which he declined to be sure, is, of course, not peculiar to him, though it was a rare enough position in Victorian England [1]. By using the loaded word trade for the artist, Thackeray undercut both the social snobbery and the mystical trappings of artist, which some writers cultivated. The social snobbery probably was an unconscious outgrowth, rather than a desired aim, of earlier proponents of the mystical view. The real Thackeray was a reliable professional masked by a public image. He lived, talked, ate, slept his fiction up until deadline time [11]. Dickens suffers from a comparison with novelists, his peers, of a newer day, even with some who were strictly his contemporaries. There are some aspects his work differs markedly from our present conception of the art of novel-writing. Theoretically, he had very little in common with the school of strict veracity, of realism. One thing can never become old-fashioned is sincerity of purpose. Dickens had before him no such artistic ideal; he never desired freedom to offend his public. Sympathy with his readers was to him the very breath of life; the more complete that sympathy, the better did he esteem his work. His law, first and foremost, was pleasing as many people as possible.
Conclusion

Relatively to the other works of Dickens Oliver Twist is of great importance. Dickens is close to all the permanent human things. He is allied to the people, to the real poor, who love nothing so much as to take a cheerful glass and to talk about funerals. We can assign the following elements in the Dickens’ works: • Critics have complained of Shakespeare and others for putting comic episodes into a tragedy. This first element was present in Dickens, and it is very powerfully present in Oliver Twist. It required a man with the courage and coarseness of Dickens actually to put tragic episodes into a farce. We can find the alphabetical realism in his novels. There are two special principles which separate alphabetical realism from all that we call realism in our time. First, that with us a moral story means a story about moral people; with them a moral story meant more often a story about immoral people. Second, that with us realism is always associated with some subtle view of morals; with them realism was always associated with some simple view of morals. • The second of the new Dickens elements is equally indisputable and separate. This subject is social oppression. He did not dislike this or that argument for oppression; he disliked oppression. Dickens saw that under many forms there was one fact, the tyranny of man over man; and he struck at it when he saw it, whether it was old or new. He wrote as his soul dictated. Dickens created individuals. He gave form and substance to the ideal of goodness and purity, of honour, justice, mercy, whereby the dim multitudes falteringly seek to guide their steps. Among the professional Victorian writers Thackeray is known as a lucky, careless genius, a lazy giant with great powers and equal weaknesses. For him, fiction was fun, and the illusion of reality was fascinating. Thackeray's realism is one that his contemporaries have been unprepared to see or accept. It was not his aim to disrupt profits by focusing attention on his private beliefs and values. Thackeray's respect for the "uncertainty principle," the humility with which he declined to be sure, is, of course, not peculiar to him, though it was a rare enough position in Victorian England. By using the loaded word trade for the artist, Thackeray undercut both the social snobbery and the mystical trappings of artist, which some writers cultivated.
GENERAL CONCLUSION

Literary and social concerns in the novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens are investigated in the given work. Literary and social concerns are discovered as a mirror of current literature of the XIX century on the basis of the scientific sources analysis. In the project is made a review of social and literary problems dramatized in novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens. It is defined the approaches and manners of the authors’ transmission of the social problems, their traits, styles and ideas. Here are some of their stylistic elements: • putting comic episodes into a tragedy; • alphabetical realism in the novels; • with them a moral story means more often a story about immoral people; • with them realism was always associated with some simple view of morals; • social oppression as a subject of novels; • the "uncertainty principle," the humility with which they declined to be sure. Similarity and differences in the authors’ approaches in the social problems coverage are discovered. W. Thackeray was steadfast, industrious, full of purpose, never doubting of himself always putting his best foot foremost and standing firmly on it when he got there; with no inward trepidation, with no moments in which he was half inclined to think that this race was not for his winning, this goal not to be reached by his struggles. The good opinion which he had of himself was never shaken by adverse criticism; and the criticism on the other side, by which it was exalted, came from the enumeration of the number of copies sold. He was a firm reliant man, very little prone to change, who, when he had discovered the nature of his own talent, knew how to do the very best with it. It may almost be said that Thackeray was the very opposite of this. Unsteadfast, idle, changeable of purpose, aware of his intellect but not trusting it, no man ever failed more generally than Ch. Dickens to put his best foot foremost. Full as his works are of pathos, full of humour, full of love and charity, tending, as they always do, to truth and honour and manly worth and womanly modesty, excelling, as they seem to me to do, most other written precepts that I know, they always seem to lack something that might have been there. There is a touch of vagueness which indicates that his pen was not firm while he was using it. I can fancy as the sheets went from him every day he told himself, in regard to every sheet, that it was a failure. Dickens was quite sure of his sheets. REFERENCES

1. Colby, Robert. Thackeray's Canvass of Humanity. Columbus, Ohio State Univ. Press, 1979, pp. 36 – 68. 2. Fields, James T. Yesterdays with Authors. 1871; rpt. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1925, pp. 8 – 28. 3. Howes, Craig. "Pendennis and the Controversy on the 'Dignity of Literature,' " Nineteenth Century Literature 41 (Dec. 1986), pp. 269 – 298. 4. Jackson, R.V. "The structure of Pay in Nineteenth-Century Britain," Economic History Review, 2d ser., 40 (1987), pp. 561 – 570. 5. Konstantinova, O.M. “Meet Great Britain”, Kyiv Forum, 2001, pp. 76 – 79. 6. Lund, Michael. "Novels, Writers, and Readers in 1850," Victorian Periodicals Review 17 (Spring-Summer 1984), pp. 15 – 28. 7. Patten, Robert. Charles Dickens and His Publishers. Oxford: Clarendon, 1978, pp. 56 – 83. 8. Peters, Catherine. Thackeray's Universe. London: Faber & Faber, 1987, pp. 24 – 51. 9. Rawlins, Jack. Thackeray's Novels: A Fiction That is True. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1974, pp. 36 – 59. 10. Ray, Gordon N. "Vanity Fair: One Version of the Novelist's Responsibility," Essays by Divers Hands 25 (1950), pp. 87 – 101. 11. Shillingsburg, Peter. "Textual Introduction" to Vanity Fair. New York: Garland, 1989, pp. 651 – 654. 12. Strebigh, Fred. "Keeping the Hacks and Geniuses Out of Debtors Prison." Smithsonian (May 1985), pp. 121 – 129. 13. Sutherland, John. Thackeray at Work. London: Athlone, 1974. 14. Thackeray. "Lever's St. Patrick's Eve-Comic Politics," Morning Chronicle, 3 April 1845, rpt. in Thackeray: Contributions to the Morning Chronicle, ed. Gordon N. Ray. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1966. 15. Thackeray Newsletter, nos 6. and 7 (1977). 16. Thackeray: The Use of Adversity. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1958. 17. The Letters and Private Papers of William Makepeace Thackeray, ed. Gordon N. Ray. 4 vols. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1946. 18. Trollope, Anthony. Thackeray. London: Macmillan, 1879. 19. Victorian Novelists and Publishers. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976.

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