Tuesday, February 17, 2015
I believe I made an error reading this straight after Oliver Twist. Where I enjoyed Oliver with its mawkishness and remarkable coincidences I found the same traits in this story too much.
From the start its obvious that things will be alright in Nicholas's world in the end just because he is so capable. Naturally there is suffering and sadness along the way but it turns out alright.
Nicholas, his sister and his mother are left to rely on an Uncle and brother in law to survive after the patriarch dies leaving them in financial straits. The uncle is of course a horrible person and puts the brother and sister into work with dastardly types.
Nicholas is put to work in a school with the cruel Squeers family. This part of the book is interesting in that in the time this was written anyone with a building could start a school, that was all you needed. This part of the story is based on Dickens experience of visiting a school set up similar to the one in the book.
But this book is padded, it was a serial and it is plainly so ,it segues ways away from our hero regularly and for no good reason much of the time.
At the end there is the "Dickensian coincidence" which tidies up all the loose ends.
Must admit I struggled to get to the end, again probably because I went straight into this from Twist.