Microcosms In Charles Dickens Master Humphrey's Clock

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Thus the London cityscape and its inhabitants are depicted by a macrocosm of self-contained “thousand[s of] worlds” of people that share its space. These “places” and people lack specificity but are separate and “distinct” from each other, forming metaphorical “worlds” coinciding within the city. Dickens presents a conceptual framework to understand the social body of London through its division of people as microcosms who are “almost unconscious” of other’s existence beyond their own.
His description of the concentrated populations in his work Master Humphrey’s Clock identifies the atomization of Victorian London and demonstrates the extent of the brutal indifference exhibited by the society. The “worlds” of London and its constituents present the notion of borders that confine and separate these populations from each other. The “well to do” or assumedly the middle class are estranged from the other groups, and aloofly recall hearing, yet disbelieve, that there are “quarters” of the city where people in the “thousands” struggle to get by. Their reluctance of this fact this reveals that the conditions of poorer populations are denied in the minds of the middle class and the “misery and famine” within these quarters go unnoticed. The lives of the poor are chewed up by the city and are purposely made anonymous and ignored by lack of
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These extremes are used to emphasize the dichotomies of difference, which are charged upon the ‘other’ to further outcast them through their polarized divergences in character. The ‘other’ and treatment of ‘otherness’ is treated through the actions and perceptions of the middle class. The ‘other’ is manifested by its passivity within the text; the poor lack reception to what is described about them and therefore are kept hidden by the middle class of who refuse to acknowledge

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