Our Mutual Friend — The Dust-Mounds and The Principle of Speculation

  • James M. Brown


Dickens’s social vision in this, his last completed novel, encompasses familiar ideas and themes. This is suggested by one of those thematically loaded descriptions of London which characterise his later work.

A grey dusty withered evening in London city has not a hopeful aspect. The closed warehouses and offices have an air of death about them, and the national dread of colour has an air of mourning. The towers and steeples of the many house-encompassed churches, dark and dingy as the sky that seems descending on them, are no relief to the general gloom; a sun-dial on a church-wall has the look, in its useless black shade, of having failed in its business enterprise and stopped payment forever…. The set of humanity outward from the City is as a set of prisoners departing from gaol, and dismal Newgate seems quite as fit a stronghold for the mighty Lord Mayor as his own state-dwelling (p. 450).1


Social Vision Individual Philanthropist Human Excrement Fashionable Society Chief Agent 
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Copyright information

© James M. Brown 1982

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  • James M. Brown

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