Not only the most celebrated writers ever, but Charles Dickens was also an incredible speaker, giving readings on the two sides of the Atlantic. He would regularly showcase the parts he was perusing. Charles Dickens, perhaps the most significant writer of serialized novels of all time, was at times criticized for being too sentimental. Considering where he came from and all he had to overcome in his life, especially at such a young age, shouldn’t the more emotional aspects of his writings be embraced and used as a tool to dissect the various themes and characters of his work?
An exciting aspect about Dickens and his start are that his story isn’t the typical rags-to-riches type. When a young boy, his family wasn’t wealthy but well off enough to prevent young Charles from worrying about where he would find the next few shillings required to support his family. I guess he is what would be considered a moderate-wealth-to-rags-to-riches story.
Taking into consideration the resentment Dickens stated he had for his mother, for having him continue with the job that kept him pasting labels on jars for ten hours a day. Once the family was well enough out of financial trouble, it is easy to understand why a little sentimentality might be something that he wanted to inject into his stories, consciously or not. Dickens stated in David Copperfield, well regarded by him as his most favorite and personal of all his work, The man was hurting. He didn’t have the structure in his life while growing up that he later thought important.
Perhaps the serialized novel is a form of writing that he embraced because it gave him the opportunity to put his thoughts and feelings of his unstructured childhood into a more acceptable frame. True, Dickens may have been a touch sentimental but taking into account where he came from, and all he experienced a little sentimentality should be acceptable.
No matter what the critics may have said, or may ever say, Dickens’ writings have never gone out of print. His words have stood the test of much time, and it seems that audiences all over the world crave a little sentimentality.
The muppet version of A Christmas Carol is better than any other version of that particular story and is probably the most sentimental. After reading the book, I find that the muppets bring to life the characters in a more believable way than some actors ever could. Michael Cain’s Scrooge is also more believable than what other actors have done with the role. This story seems to be one that people just don’t get tired of. There is a new version of it every few years, either in the cinema or on stage (who can forget Patrick Stewart’s impressive one-person show). Still, I think Dickens would be more pleased with Jim Henson’s creations.
Currently in production is, you guessed it, A Christmas Carol, done entirely in motion capture by Robert Zemeckis. Jim Carrey as Scrooge and a host of others. Time will tell if this current version will be a mere bastardization of the beloved story or something that Charles Dickens would be proud to watch.
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