Author (Your Name)

O. James Morgan, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. English Dept.


Eileen Curran


Dickens's use of the grotesque in his novels undergoes a variety of changes. For convenience sake, and to better illustrate the developments of the grotesque, I divide the novels into three separate groups. The first group, the period of experiment, included the novels from Pickwick Papers through Barnaby Rudge; the second group, the period of transition, includes the novels from Martin Chuzzlewit through David Copperfield; and the third, the period of a new vision. included the novels from Bleak House through Edwin Drood. Basically, I see the development of the grotesque involving a change in Dickens's conceptions of society, as well as responding to complex changes in society itself; Dickens's vision loses much of its humor in the end, yet it also reflects a definite maturity.


Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 -- Criticism and interpretation, Grotesque in literature