How to Write Humorously – Learning From Charles Dickens

In ‘A Tale Of Two Cities’, Dickens had distributed the humour among various pockets: the way he described the characters, the manners that the lords of the land followed in France, and the narrative technique in which he had no competitor. While describing the human tragedies and follies of common men, he had endeavoured to infuse funniness through the comedy of manners. But he had not tried to soften the bitterness of truth that the ongoing revolution was supposed to hold.A�
Charles DickensA�had courage to be an innovator. Standing against all the contemporary writers, he had chosen the subject like poverty in ‘Oliver Twist’.A�A�He obeyed his inner voice-his sincere service to the world in he lived.A�A�Again, even if being the writer of neat fiction, he chose history as background for his novelA�’A Tale of Two Cities’. The writer of ‘Domby and Sons’ and ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’ preferred to narrate rigid truth of the history without reservations, without making compromises. And the result is before our eyes.
He chose theme of history because it contained the hardest challenges the people had faced; he chose it because the larger portion of the people had at last responded to the wildest behaviour shown to them throughout the years. Every drop of blood spilled on the street of Paris, every drop of the sweat fallen on the farms of feudal France, melted into each other and became the blade of the Guillotine. And then everything flew from the power of that Guillotine. Dickens picked up that theme; honoured it in its right perspective; and dealt with it with his masterly skill.A�
While reading Dickens, humour would not fail in helping our strains to disappear. It would make our mind lighter. Had Dickens not been a writer and the humorist as he was, he would have become a social activist. Such were the subjects he chose for his writings. ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, a novel that runs overloaded with the hard facts of an ongoing revolution, it contains salient stock of wits and irony. Though the thematic compulsions restrained Dickens to become outright humorist; he fully counterbalanced it while caricaturing some of the characters.A�A�
If we look at the novel from a different angle, then a war or a revolution is the greatest satire itself. The mankind has never learnt a lesson from the past. We go on slaughtering each other without realising the futility of our actions. Perhaps that was the biggest message this novel should have delivered.A� A�’A Tale of Two Cities’ is the masterpiece novel. It would shine like a gem on a bookshelf.

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