Time Patterns in Later Dickens: A Study of the Thematic Implications of the Temporal Organization of "Bleak House", "Hard Times", "Little Dorrit", "A Tale of Two Cities", "Great Expectations" and "Our Mutual Friend" - Costerus New Series v. 94 (Paperback)Soultana K. Maglavera
Paperback Published: 01/01/1994
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This study offers a series of readings of Dickens's later novels: Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and Our Mutual Friend. The discussions of the novels assume the basic distinction between the arrangement of events in their chronological order (story) and their arrangement in the narrative (plot), and are based on Genette's classifications of the various types of anachronies as well as on the more functionally oriented categories of anachronies I myself suggest. The temporal organization of the narratives, in upsetting the sequential order of events in specific ways, invites reflection on the very nature of the notion of causality, which, in turn, is related to two interconnected ideas: that truth is not always to be found by logical reasoning and that appearances do not necessarily convey the truth. Closely related to these ideas is a Christian attitude towards time: both linear and circular forms of time are subsumed and at the same time re-formulated within a Christian vision of time, informed by the basic human feelings of love and compassion.