David Copperfield: A Novel with Purpose

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      The England in which Charles Dickens lived was materially and morally backward. Even though England had a democratic form of government, the political power was centered in a few noble houses and excluded the majority of the people. The legal procedures were often twisted by the lawyers for their own personal ends. The educational system was not well organized either. After the Industrial Revolution factories and warehouses sprang up like mushrooms throughout England. People were employed for very cheap wages and the proprietors amassed huge wealth by exploiting the laborers. Even children were put to work for which they were unfit. Prisons were places of dirt, disease and death. Poverty had grown to alarming proportions. The Micawbers, Heeps and the Traddles were not just stray instances of poverty. They were the symptoms and manifestations of a more deep-rooted social evil. Dickens used his pen to point out these defects in the social system. The novels written by him opened people's eyes to the corruption and poverty that was rampant in his days in England. His novels made people aware of the extent and seriousness of the reforms needed, specially in the educational system, and provoked a nation-wide agitation.

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