Is There A Connection Between Hardy And Dickens Concerning The Symbols As Image And Character?


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Uzair Ahmed Profile
Uzair Ahmed answered
I think Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy are altogether different types of writers. They have quite contrasting views of life and hence have a contrasting style of writing. Thomas Hardy is a writer who is more concerned with the head-on collision of nature with man, resulting in the destruction of man. His characters are often face to face with nature and suffer at the hands of fate. We can see this in almost all the novels of Hardy. In The Mayor of Casterbridge, Michael Henchard tries everything possible on the face of earth but has to go through turmoil only because of nature.
As Hardy's subject is Man vs. Nature, so his images and symbols are also drawn from nature. I think the best argument for the above mentioned fact would be that almost every novel of Hardy starts with a poetic and graphic representation of nature and natural scenes. On the other hand, Dickens' novels are concerned more with the social implications of the society. His characters suffer not at the hands of nature but at the hands of fellow beings. And we can see it quite evident that his images are mostly drawn out of the social scenes witnessed in our routine life. He uses incidents as symbols to make the reader understand his philosophy. (see A Tale of Two Cities, the red wine scene).
Talking about the characters of Hardy, his characters are most of the time ambitious and have high goals in front of them. He uses nature as a character as well. Whereas you will seldom find Dickens using nature as a character. Also, his characters are not concerned with the high philosophical issues as Hardy's characters are.
So I don't find any resemblance between Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens in terms of their writings.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Hardy and Dickens share a different visual landscape to depict their stories and characters. Dicken with onset of industrial revolutions talks about social injustices, misery, extremes of poverty and riches. Hardy's backdrop is rich in color. The landscapes have a healing power and strenght to abosorb the pain of lost loves and unfulfilled desires. The characters are rustic and emotion not too refined as that of city characters in Dickens world. An abandoned arena in Hardys novel would set a backdrop to personal tragedy. The winds that move throught the grass would turn into "aeolian modulations" and the nature seems to be in harmony with our happiness and our sufferings. Dickens world is like a "leaden" river to talk about bleak and grey smog that hangs in the air and dampens our spirits.

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