Reading Aloud in Dickens’ Novels


This paper explores the ways in which Dickens’ writing style was influenced by the Victorian practice of reading aloud. Because of this practice he portrayed his characters’ speeches in a notably oral-, aural- and performance-oriented style. To assist readers in reproducing the unique voices of many of his characters, Dickens employs explicit markers such as phonetic spelling, narrative comments, and unusual punctuation. These markers encourage the creation of a vivid oral performance for an audience, and are clear signs that the speeches should be dramatically performed.

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