Resistance in Literature: A Close Reading of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Little Dorrit

Zubair Ahmad Bhat


Literature is the reflection of life or society. Whatever is going on in the society it reflects all. It may be any aspect of the society such as, political, historical, economical, religious, educational or administrational. All these driving forces of the society are being reflected by the literature. Literature on the whole encompasses all these parameters of the society. Resistance is always present in literature or in its genres. It may be present least or most, but it depends, whether it is expressed or not. From the evolution of English literature, English was mainly written in the genre of poetry, prose and drama in medieval era, but with the advent of advancement it takes other forms as well in the coming eras such as novel and novella. Many writers or authors from time to time put forward their issues in front of the society through their writings. They either satire their society indirectly or they put their issues in front of the society or governing bodies. Either they dissatisfied by the system or they revolt against them. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift or Animal Farm by George Orwell, are satires on the political system of their era. But with the passage of time resistance in literature take dominant form in English literature as Resistance literature in the Third World. It encompasses the literature of third world writers especially of the colonized and imperialized ones. It covers all the dimensions of third world literature such as political, historical and sociological. By the introduction of Barbara Harlow’s Resistance Literature which is a ground breaking work in western literature, the third world literature came into being recognized and it was once avoided; now it is being studied in most of the western universities. Harlow not only presents new writing but a new critical perspective through Resistance Literature and part of her argument is that works written in the context of resistance does not allow for an independent approach, but instead requires an abandoning of the western model of criticism that renders art as apolitical. This paper analyses Dickens’ works as a precursor of resistance in literature and it especially takes into account Little Dorrit and Hard Times as revolting works.


Literature, Society, Social Issues, Resistance, Economy, History and Politics

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