A Dickens short describing the interior of a prison, as well as the prisoners. My favorite was the way he depicted the death row inmate who had hours until he. In A Visit to Newgate, Dickens writes about visiting the prison on Newgate. He seems to be amazed how people can walk by the prison every. Prescilla Garland Module: Charles Dickens Title: Assignment 1 – Commentary and Analysis November 11th Word Count: Written by a young Charles .

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The narrator in “A Visit To Newgate” constructs for the reader an ideal reading position. This reading position excludes other positions, which are not the “ideal,” and the excluded become the “other. Charles Dickens “A Visit To Newgate” constructs the reader as a subject in order to reaffirm the ideal subject position within the dominant ideology of capitalism. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd.

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“A Visit to Newgate”

Write an entry Read more. Edited Entries Only Advanced Search. An essay on the construction of the ideal reading position and dickesn subject within ideology with reference to Charles Dickens, “A Visit To Newgate” The Reading Position The narrator in “A Visit To Newgate” constructs for the reader an ideal reading position.

The narrator, the implied reading position, the ideal subject within capitalist ideology, and the “other” The reader has access to the story only as it visiit presented to the reader through the narrator, who describes the events of the story. In order to easily understand the story, the reader must be interpellated into the position that the narrator is addressing. This reading position that the narrator of A Visit To Newgate constructs, is the ideal subject position within the bourgeois ideology of the time — that of the middle class male.


The working-class and poor are not addressed, and therefore a poor or working-class reading position within the text is not constructed.

Dickens Here the narrator interpellates the reader into the subject position of middle-class and charkes by representing the female prisoner as the object — assuming that the reader is male and does not belong to the same class as the prisoner. The reading position is constructed as the most natural, ideal position to be in. The narrator not only constructs an ideal reading position, but also implies how the reader who takes up that reading position, should react to the information that the narrator imparts.

A Visit to Newgate

The narrator attempts to fulfil his promise to illuminate for the reader what it is like to be on death row, by speculating on the feelings and dreams experienced by a prisoner with only hours left to live. The narrator describes such feelings of guilt and unworthiness, and a shameful state of powerlessness in the prisoner: Now that his fears of death amount almost to madness, and an overwhelming sense of his helpless, hopeless state rushes upon him, he is lost and stupefied.

The narrator imposes his own feelings of guilt and unworthiness onto the prisoner — whose true feelings he could not possibly know. This imposing of those feelings onto the prisoner helps a situation that cannot be real the narrator knowing the thoughts and dreams of a character seem realistic because it is represented as the logical, or most likely, reaction of the prisoner to his own death.

aa The focus on class, and the insistence by the narrator that conditions in the prison should be improved, is cultural vraisemblance that is presented as natural. The characters in A Visit To X are presented as thought they are being described by the narrator objectively, but are constructed to position the reader where they can judge the characters within the ideological institutions it is assumed the reader will share.


The narrator himself is not described, but his personality is defined by the way he interacts with the people and places in the prison. Thurley points out the there is: Therefore, when the narrator describes another character, it feels like objective description; but it is not, the descriptions are a series of signs that the implied reader hcarles decode in a certain way, and make certain judgements based on those signs.

She inflicts pain on her mother through her apparent lack of feelings and cold demeanour. Her life, far from the acceptable selflessness of her mother, is dominated by selfishness. Where is her father? Did he leave, did he die, was he too weak to control idckens daughter or too controlling and violent?

Hence the character-traiting reinforces the primacy of the ideal subject position within the dominant ideology. The narrative positions of narrator and implied reader function with A Visit To Newgate to tell us how to live within dicekns.

Mortality, Immortality and Other Life Strategies. Newton and Deborah Rosenfell. A Preface To Dickens. Excess and Restraint in the novels of Charles Dickens. Its Genesis and Struture. University of Queensland Press, Bookmark on your Personal Space. Conversations About This Entry Sign in to start a conversation. There are no Conversations for this Entry Subscribe Unsubscribe.

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