Dickens Use Of Irony In Sleary's Entertainment

542 Words3 Pages
In order to emphasize the importance of childhood and imagination, contrasting sharply with Gradgrind’s impassivity, Dickens connects Sleary’s Circus with fairy tale imagery. For instance, when Louisa meets the horse riders in person, she considers them “amazing creatures… so white and pink in complexion, so scant of dress, so demonstrative of leg.” In particular, Dickens mirrors descriptions of fairies, who are also canonically fair skinned and scarcely clad, and certainly qualify as amazing creatures. The presence of Sleary’s Circus casually evokes Louisa’s subconscious memories of childhood stories, fairies in particular. As a matter of fact, the circus people unequivocally derive from traditional fairy characteristics, paralleling their…show more content…
After all, while Louisa and Sissy are touring the circus, Sleary spends a great deal of time elucidating the circus Ring, seemingly for no reason. “That'h Jack the Giant Killer - piethe of comic infant bithnith,” he points out. “There’s my Clown with a thauthepan-lid and a thpit, for Jack'th thervant; there'th little Jack himthelf in a thplendid thoot of armour; there'th two comic black thervanth twithe ath big ath the houthe, to thtand by it and to bring it in and clear it; and the Giant.” Sleary later reveals the Ring is all an elaborate disguise conceived to smuggle the convict Tom Gradgrind to Liverpool. Most importantly, Dickens explicitly designs the Ring with a popular fairy tale in mind. Not only does it reiterate previous associations between the circus and fairy tales, it also is a rather accurate representation of Tom’s situation. In this case, the Giant is indicative of Bitzer, while Tom assumes the role of Jack. With this in mind, the Ring simulates Tom’s escape from utilitarian society. Although he does not openly disavow the Gradgrind creed, Tom still finds himself rejected by the same corrupt beliefs that led him to

    More about Dickens Use Of Irony In Sleary's Entertainment

      Open Document