|Budget Amount *help
¥3,100,000 (Direct Cost: ¥3,100,000)
Fiscal Year 2004: ¥1,300,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,300,000)
Fiscal Year 2003: ¥1,800,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,800,000)
Interactions between Dickens's novels -especially those written after the mid century -and the sensation novels in the 1860s have been neglected to such an extent that few critics have hitherto explored the relationship of the two in detail ; however, themes and conventions such as the ghost story and the detective novel are unmistakable marks that correlate Dickens to the sensationalists. Their similarities are to be summarized in seven items.
First, heroines rather than heroes occupy central places. Second, those heroines are characterized by their sexual transgressions such as bigamy and illicit love affair. Third, female angels and/or demons are the criminals, committing murder of husband, arson, and poisoning. Fourth, a doppelganger theme is formed by two heroines who are so similar to each other that one is mistaken for the other, while creating another favorite motif of mistaken identity. Fifth, the mistaken identity motif brings about the ghost story in which one of two heroines functions as a ghost, not real but imagined. Sixth, a male detective is rendered so as to disclose secrets and crimes of the enchanting heroine. Seventh, a male detective has a secret desire to demolish strong-minded heroines.
The works that have been examined in this context are Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Hard Times, East Lynne, Mrs.Halliburton's Troubles, Lady Audley's Secret, The Doctor's Wife, John Marchmont's Legacy and the like.
"Sikes and Nancy,"a public reading version of Oliver Twist read in Dicken's final years is a blatant example demonstrating Dickens is beyond doubt a sensationalist who makes use of murder of a husband, and a ghost element to evoke the sensation. Hysteria -or madness -as a female malady transforms an angelic heroine into a demon, whose subversiveness calls into question Victorian chauvinistic, patriarchal society.