In “Domestic Trauma and Imperial Pessimism: The Crisis At Home in Charles Dickens’s Dombey and Son,” Katherine Ostdiek discusses Dickens’s representation of violence, grief, and recovery within the Victorian home as a pre-Freudian example of trauma. This comparison not only demonstrates the importance of trauma studies in the nineteenth-century, but more importantly, it thematically focuses empathy for the traumatized on the home. In this novel, Dickens dismisses topics related to the financial and social crises of mid-century Britain in favor of domestic themes that emphasize an idealized structure of the Victorian family. Through her use of trauma theory and cultural studies, Ostdiek examines Dickens’s use of non-linear narrative and evocation of empathy from his readers in order to represent trauma and allow readers to process national grief.
Ostdiek, Katherine E
"Domestic Trauma and Imperial Pessimism: The Crisis at Home in Charles Dickens’s Dombey and Son."
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