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Dickens' Rhetoric


Sheila Foor

This book first provides an historical overview of the critical reception of Charles Dickens' treatment and use of language, and then analyzes his rhetoric by focusing on one novel, Bleak House, as exemplary of his techniques. Both the written and spoken word are examined minutely to illustrate that, in some respects, Dickens incorporated rhetorical strategies into his work well before such theories would become mainstream.
Contents: Walls of words take many forms in Bleak House. Language, litter, and letters intertwine to indict those whose language is false or abusive. However, sympathy - the silent rhetoric - can succeed when words fail.