Wednesday, December 28, 2011

a little Charles Dickens love

So, it seems that I have a Femnista article due on Little Dorrit in a few weeks. I believe January 17th, to be precise. Now comes the issue of what to write! I'm a verbose person who, if you give me a novel to write about, I could probably write an article as long as the book. Well, maybe not Little Dorrit, but some books. I'm wavering between writing about the tragedy of Mr. Dorrit's life or the gentle faith of Amy Dorrit. I could even do something on the nature of Mr. Clennam because I do have some intriguing notions about him. Sometimes the weakness of heroes is that they are too kind and therefore are either trod upon or they are too indulgent of weaknesses in others. Mr. Jarndyce of Bleak House anyone?

I'm extremely fond of Little Dorrit, despite the sorrows and agonies experienced by most of the characters. This is what makes Dickens such a master of prose. His characters are brilliantly imperfect. An event will occur and the audience groans in horror because it could have been easily avoided due to one action or another. But that is life. Oftentimes hindsight lets us see the mistakes that we wish had foreseen before actually making them. Ahh, the beauty of humanity.

Isn't it remarkable how God loves us regardless of our flaws? He knows we're going to make mistakes and loves us anyway. A friend reminded me the other day that we cannot disappoint God. To disappoint him would mean He had high expectations of us, which He does not because He already knows our sin nature. However, that does not give us free rein to just say "Oh, because that's in my nature I shouldn't fight against it." That's absurd. My heart grieves when I see Mr. Skimpole returning again and again to Mr. Jarndyce's home. Why can't he see the man is a snake in the grass?! He's an enabler, thinking he can fix and change everyone. That is his flaw, albeit you wouldn't necessarily see it as a sinful flaw, but it is one that does him no good. Our sinful nature, whatever it might be, is something we spend our entire life fighting against. And we should fight againt it. God is not going to be disappointed in us because He never expected us to exceed expectations in the first place.

Charles Dickens, more than many authors, had the gift of perceiving human character. Why else do we feel frustration at Mr. Jarndyce's inaction? Why else do we despise Mr. Skimpole's snake-in-the-grassing? And why else do we love Mr. Clennam and little Amy Dorrit despite any weakness? Because they remind us of ourselves. We see the best and worst of ourselves in these beloved literary characters. Just writing out some thoughts on Dickens has given me more ideas for my article. I'm reminded once again just how much I love Charles Dickens! A world without him would be a bleak place indeed.


  1. I have just been realizing that the "Femnista" article is due in a couple of weeks... and, yeah, I am kind of freaking out about it! ;D

    Looking forward to seeing what everyone writes about.

    BTW: your new look is really cute, Carissa. =)

  2. It seems as if Dickens is on both our minds today! (Probably on mine because I'm midway through "Great Expectations"!) I polished up my article on his villains today, and did some redesigning for the issue, so it will have a completely new look.

    Little Dorrit is a darling, and Arthur is probably my favorite of Dickens' heroes. He's... well, he's just delightful, but in a different way than most.

    Your thoughts are delightful. If you pursue any of this vein, your article will be magnificent, and if you choose to do something else with it, well, it will STILL be magnificent.

    Fortunately, we cannot disappoint God -- and that is an enormous relief. It doesn't encourage us to idleness, but at least we do not feel the weight of divine disappointment.

    Cute layout!

  3. Rissi, what's your topic for "Femnista" this issue?

    Charity, I do love Arthur and no mistake. Sometimes he frustrates me, but then, most of the heroes frustrate me with inaction no matter how much I love them.

    I have the miniseries coming from Netflix so I'll be busy watching it over the next few weeks. There are 15 people ahead of me in the library holds list. 15! Does that not sound crazy to you!?

    To both, thanks for the compliments on my layout. I was so happy to find the Shabby Blogs website!

  4. Having finished GE, I must say that Pip frustrates me more than any other Dickens' heroes -- he's such a snot for awhile. But he redeems himself, fortunately. =)

  5. I am doing a piece on Esther from Bleak House.

    What with the holidays and everything, I have sorely neglected my article and given that I am a girl who likes to be "done" well in advance and "tweak" things until I send in my submission, this is a change for me. ;D


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