The famous British novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) believed in the power of fiction to affect the reader. In some of his novels he used the reader’s familiarity with the Bible so as to engage them in imagining contemporary social conditions. In Yuanyuan Zhu’s research she investigates the use of biblical allusions in Dickens’ novels Bleak House, Hard Times, and Little Dorrit. Central to the interpretation of the biblical allusions in the novels is the dialogic relation between the biblical and fictive worlds as well as both to the Victorian socio-historical context. In our conversation, Dr. Zhu explains that the biblical allusions serve many purposes in the novels. Ultimately, they instruct the reader about the need for social improvement and individual moral actions.
Yuanyuan Zhu’s doctoral thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: Biblical Allusion in Three Charles Dickens Condition-of-England Novels