Little Dorrit's Shadows: Character and Contradiction In Dickens
Hardcover in New Condition
In Little Dorrit's Shadows, Brian Rosenberg explores the specific relations between Dickens's ambivalent or self-contradictory imagination and his creation of character, arguing that contradiction and uncertainty do not merely color Dickens's characterization but account in large part for its distinctiveness and success. Characters that seem initially to be thoroughly knowable prove in the end to be as present and absent, definite and indefinite as shadows.
Rosenberg is fully familiar with Dickensian criticism and with commentary on the subject of characterization in general. He concentrates on Dickens's eleventh novel, Little Dorrit, in which doubts and conflicts combine to shape the fictional structure on virtually every level. And because Little Dorrit is founded on contradiction, the contradictory elements in the characterization are granted free rein. Working outward from close analyses of characterization in Little Dorrit to more general considerations of Dickens's other novels, Rosenberg does justice both to the achievement of Little Dorrit and to the ways it resembles and differs from Dickens's fourteen other substantial texts.