Charles Dickens: His Writing and His Life



Charles Dickens was (and still is) one of the most widely - read authors of his time; always, he wrote the truth about the times in which he lived.
Chrarles' place of birth was Portsmouth, southern England. He was the second child. His parents had eight children (English…World 510). Charles Dickens' father was financially unstable. Charles called him " 'the prodigal father' " (English…Approach 612). The family was forced to move from one place to another due to Mr. Dickens' unstable work situation. Charles' father was continuously running away from his debtors, but they finally caught him and put him in jail for his unpaid dues. Charles' mother was forced to take on the responsibility of supporting her family when the father was placed in jail. She started teaching children in her home. Her salary was not enough to support the family.
Early childhood was probably the ugliest time of Charles Dickens' life. He suffered many inconveniences as a child. Even though he was having so many troubled times, he managed not to forget anyone he met. Charles was not given the proper education that he should have had. So, he decided to seek an education on his own, by reading books written by authors who lived a hundred years before his time (612).
When Charles was twelve, he took a job to help support his family. He was forced to work and make money. He dropped out of school when he reached the age of fifteen (Literature 574). An attorney hired Charles, and taught him shorthand (English…. World 612). Soon after Charles got a job, his father was released from jail. Charles' father then secured a job as a journalist. Charles was also hired as a legislative journalist (612). After Charles worked as a journalist, he started sending essays and stories to magazine publishers (Literature 574). When Charles would write his works and send them to the publishers, he would sign his name as " 'Boz' " (574). The publishers put all the essays and stories together, to form the Sketches by Boz. Charles received much recognition from the interest created by the Boz sketches (574). Shortly thereafter, the Pickwick Club was formed. The organizers of the club were Mr. Pickwick, some friends, and Sam Weller. Thus, his career was launched (English…Approach 612).
Due to Charles' success in writing the essays Sketches by Boz Chapman and Hall became interested in promoting his work. They asked Charles to produce a twenty-month publication. This was called The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. After a short time, everyone loved his work and admired his achievements (Drabble 272). "Warmly humorous and endlessly inventive, he charms readers of all intellectual and social strata with rambling tales full of frank sentimentality and humanitarian sympathy" (Literature 574). Oliver Twist and The Pickwick Papers were finished only days before the printers deadline. Nicholas Nickleby was the next publication. Two years later, The Old Curiosity Shop was published (574).
Most people became very interested in the characters of Charles' books. He used all sorts of different characters with different traits and abilities. Because of his large way of thinking about things, this led him to some of the greatest works of all time (English…Approach 612). For example, in one of Charles' books, he describes a boy, who is an orphan. The orphan was removed from the orphanage, because he was too old. Upon his release, he was taken in by a man, and placed on a job where he could make enough money to survive (English…World 510).
Once Charles achieved the thrill of being known, he and his wife, Catherine Hogarth, began a happy and prosperous life together (Drabble 272). Dickens continued with his publications throughout his lifetime. He was known to be a very hard worker and this may have led to his death. He began to feel reoccurring pain from an earlier accident. This problem did not stop him from writing his novels (Literature 574). Dickens had been told to slow down, but he refused, and worked harder. Because of his stubbornness, he died of a stroke. "Dickens's striking and compassionate portrayals of the troubled society of his age made him an influential social critic and the champion of the exploited " (574).