Visualizing the Vir Bonus in Charles Dickens's Scenes of Persuasion: The Rhetoric of Pity, Sentiment, Fact, and Debt

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (monografi)


Charles Dickens’s novels are filled with scenes of persuasion—moments of heightened rhetoric. Through
these scenes, the novels present a moral rhetoric and a person that uses this rhetoric toward ethical
ends: a vir bonus. In particular, my study has focused on two separate but related levels of persuasion;
the first remains within the narrative and the second takes into account the level between the text and its
readers. The analysis of A Christmas Carol contends that readers witness the persuasion of Scrooge, a
miser who learns to accept the kairos of Christmastime to become a kind, charitable man. Oliver Tiwst,
this study argues, represents a rhetoric of pity through which both those who are pitied and those who
provide the pity can be saved. This chapter shows that appeals to pathos are particularly effective in this
context. The analysis of Hard Times has found that pity and benevolence no longer function as
straightforward solutions to the problems that the novel stages. Instead, it paints a grim picture of what
happens when the fundamental logos of a society is misguided and when the most powerful rhetoricians
are not ethical. Finally, the analysis of Little Dorrit continues to discuss the issue of dangerous
rhetoricians and highlights in particular the concept of ethos as a valuable way of understanding selffashioning
and fraud. In addition, the analysis of this novel discusses the concepts of debt and credit and
their importance to communities.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Humaniora
  • Språk och litteratur
  • Litteraturstudier


Tilldelande institution
Handledare/Biträdande handledare
Tilldelningsdatum2019 sep 28
  • Lund University
Tryckta ISBN978-91-88899-55-2
Elektroniska ISBN978-91-88899-56-9
StatusSubmitted - 2019 aug 16


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