Date of Award
Master of Arts
This thesis examines the ramifications of suffering in Dickensian transformation. Ideally, suffering should reveal the best aspects of human nature, and this thesis suggests that while it is possible to have pain without heroism, it is impossible to have heroism without pain. Couched within Dickens's discourse on suffering and redemption are both overt and covert messages to his Victorian audience as Dickens urges them to strip away their masks of pretense, "the leprosy of unreality"that enslaves them. Dickens delights in blurring apparently dichotomous boundaries as he paradoxically seeks reality through his fiction. For him, redemption is a discursive structure that invites provocative search and debate. Shadows able to shed light, fiction able to engender reality, suffering able to inspire redemption, prisons (both literal and metaphorical) able to contribute to the freeing of their inmates, and doubt able to impart hope, are the primary aspects of Dickens's redemptive reconciling of opposites that this thesis explores.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Hoyle-Brown, Kathryne Marie, ""The Leprosy of Unreality": The Capacity of Suffering to Deform or Redeem in Dickens's Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, and Little Dorrit" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 94.