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The Cricket on the Hearth: Overview

Critic: Alan Riach
Source: Reference Guide to Short Fiction, 1st ed., edited by Noelle Watson, St. James Press, 1994
Criticism about: Charles (john Huffam) Dickens (1812-1870), also known as: Charles (John Huffman) Dickens, Charles (John Huffam) Dickens, Charles John Huffam Dickens

Genre(s):  Short stories; Satires; Novels; Bildungsroman; Journalism; Social novels; Historical novels; Essays


In contrast to the labyrinthine darknesses of his greatest novels, Dickens's Christmas Books resolve themselves in happy catharsis. Each ends with a celebration of the domestic situation, with families and individuals restored to a harmonious ensemble, after the threat of discord has been encountered and removed. They are essentially festive comedies, and the imminent disruptions faced by the characters are real enough, but they are snatched away from disastrous realization at the climactic moment. Festive equilibrium is affirmed. The pleasures of holiday are earned

Nashara Barlatier
1st period
FCEHS