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Shackle or Treasure

Author CaiJuanJuan
Tutor YuanXueSheng
School Nanchang University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Dickens boyhood trauma literary creation negative influence positive influence
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Charles Dickens was considered to be one of the greatest novelists of England in history. He had made brilliant artistic achievement in his writing career. As to his works, the researches were abundant at home and abroad. But the comments were mixed, with some praising them enthusiastically and others attacking them heavily. Even among the critics there were opposite views. Why did his works cause these controversies? As to Dickens himself, throughout his life, he remained silent about a family mishap of boyhood in public, and the dark and humiliating feeling left by that mishap he only confided in his close friend and autobiographer, John Forster. What could make a famous writer like Dickens feel difficult to express? Did this thing relate to the controversies on his literatures? If yes, namely it influenced his literary creation, how did this happen? Was the influence negative or positive? In order to find the answers to these questions, the writer of this thesis made some researches from following aspects:Among the four chapters of the thesis, the first chapter is an introduction, in which the background information, the purpose and significance, the methods of the research as well as the organization of the thesis are introduced. In the second chapter, a brief account of Dickens and a critical survey on Dickens’works are made. In addition, the applied theories are introduced briefly, namely Freud’s psychoanalytic theories. The following third chapter is the core of this thesis, in which the writer tries to re-appear the whole process of that family mishap through reviewing the literary biographies, letters and comments about Dickens so as to dig out the nature of psychological trauma Dickens had suffered. By applying Freudian psychoanalysis theories to discuss the relationship between Dickens’experience and the traits of his literatures, the negative and positive influences that his boyhood experiences exerted on his literary creation are revealed step by step. And the answers to the questions above are given in the conclusion part—the forth chapter, meanwhile, the limitations are addressed and some suggestions about the possible further study are put forward.This research serves the purpose of analyzing the relationship between Dickens’boyhood tribulation and his literary creation. It will be found that all through the life, Dickens’literary creation was influenced by his boyhood traumatic experiences. Because of these experiences there were defects in his literatures, which drew on innumerable attacks from critics. However, also based on these experiences Dickens became Dickens and his works are provided with powerful vitality and loved by so many readers, some thoughts reflected in which are even of positive meanings till today.

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