Prison Chat


Ok, so I must admit, I am at a little bit of an advantage this week with the blogging. Recently, I finished my second research paper entitled “Crime and Punishment in Victorian England.” If you have not seen it yet, go check it out. It has all kind of information about the most common prisons, most common crimes, and execution. Instead of reiterating what I already wrote, I decided to delve into the symbolism of prisons in the writings of Dickens’ works. I do not know much about it, but from reading your guy’s blogs and listening to your presentations, I gather that Dickens visited prisons frequently. It does not surprise me, considering he puts every legal injustice on blast. But, how does it appear in his writing?

The Obvious

In A Tale of Two Cities, we see the harsh reality of what the prison system can do to you. Mr. Mannette became obsessed with his shoes and work bench. This is totally representative of the time. While exploring for my research paper, I found out that many prisoners had to do monotonous tasks – such as winding a crank all day. Now, that will drive you up the wall. Anyway, we got a vivid look inside the courtroom and the harsh reality of punishment in prison.

The Not-So-Obvious

In most all of Dickens’ works, it seems that women are “imprisoned” in one way or another. The society restrictions kept them bound the same way bars imprison inmates. The authoritarian style of husbands is similar to wardens in a jailhouse.The ridiculous expectations of a woman’s role reminds me of the expectations of prisoners on death row. This is stretching the symbolism, but I can see it. What about you guys?


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