Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The thesis is that Charles Dickens proposes principles so fundamental that they become an artistically essential reference in his novels. This metaphysics, consisting of first principles and doctrines on Nature, Christian Theology, Good and Evil, Appearance and Reality, among others, is established mainly in the early novels, almost always quite explicitly and with great emphasis. Despite this emphasis the role of the metaphysics is to be a useful reference in the artistic background.
Beginning with David Copperfield, the metaphysics becomes imbedded in the artistic foreground. The original metaphysics is never renounced, but Dickens treats it quite differently.
The thesis attempts to catalog these first principles and doctrines, establish that they are a vital element in Dickens' narratives, and demonstrate how the novelist's art and metaphysics are organically linked. Four early and five later novels by Dickens form the thesis' purview.
Walker, Michael, "First Principles and Doctrines in the Novels of Charles Dickens." (1987). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7109.
McMaster University Library