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Expulsion and the Nineteenth-Century NovelThe Scapegoat in English Realist Fiction$
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Michiel Heyns

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198182702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198182702.001.0001

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‘Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love …’: Privileged Partnership in Dickens

‘Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love …’: Privileged Partnership in Dickens

(p.90) Chapter 2 ‘Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love …’: Privileged Partnership in Dickens
Expulsion and the Nineteenth-Century Novel

Michiel Heyns

Oxford University Press

Since the manifest design of a Charles Dickens novel is directed at redemption and restoration, the heroine is most often and most overtly the agent of such. In accordance with a simple compulsion or narrative law, any single character, if permitted to interact for a while with the rest of the cast, will tend to attach itself to another character. In Dombey and Son, the plot is structured towards the redemption and vindication as well. Facile scapegoating is firmly placed by its provenance but it does mimic that simplifying tendency of the narrative movement itself. If Dombey and Son is about pride, David Copperfield is about love and its possible variations. Partnerships are at the centre of Dickens's design, but at its base is that loneliness and exclusion from one's own kind to which almost anything seems preferable. Our Mutual Friend is perhaps the most redemption-directed of all Dickens's novels.

Keywords:   Charles Dickens, redemption, Dombey and Son, scapegoating, partnerships, exclusion, Our Mutual Friend, novels, love, loneliness

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