Charles Dickens's View of Religion in Bleak House
In Bleak House Dickens shows his faith in religion by satirizing his contemporary social institution which disregards human needs, and the upper class that is irresponsible and hypocritical. Here the institution is represented by the Court of the Chancery, characterized by a merciless lawyer, Vholes. As the defender of a lax system, the upper class is typed by false philanthropists, Mrs. Pardiggles and Mrs. Jellyby using religion for their own needs. The undesirable effect of the corrupted institution and the irresponsible upper class is not limited only to them, but also extends from an innocent individual to a whole society. It is explicitly proved through Jo, a symbolic victim of Victorian society, showing a social tie that society is an organism of interrelated parts. Though Dickens accuses the irresponsibilities of the paralyzed society, he hopes for a bright future in the society, and here as a counteraction of the foggy circumstances, he presents Esther's unselfish love, supported by Allan's active service. Dickens seems to believe that the helpless can not be relieved by any religion, without the resurrection of human nature which Esther and Allan show. In fact, Dickens's view of religion today remains familiar to us.
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