The United States and Dickens' "American Notes" Book Review by JamesRoday

The United States and Dickens' "American Notes"
Looks at Charles Dickens' fascination with the United States as expressed in his "American Notes".
# 148004 | 3,065 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | MY

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This paper explains that, in his book "American Notes", Charles Dickens writes about his traveling to America expecting the perfection of a democratic country but instead finding the U.S.A. still developing its own institutions and identity. Next, the author examines the way that Dickens describes the institutions of Boston's House of Correction and Asylum for the Blind, Philadelphia's Eastern Penitentiary and The House of Representatives at Washington. The paper concludes that this book underscores that a person cannot know about a country by just reading about it but rather must visit the foreign land.

From the Paper:

"From this excerpt, it can be concluded that Dickens agrees with the institution's policy of not making the students wear a formal uniform. His first comment is on the senseless customs and want of wearing a uniform. It can be assumed that Dickens view this act as a senseless custom as the students themselves might not know the 'hidden curriculum' of building-up school spirit (belonging and equality) and preparation for the general workforce (Most industries require that their workers look united and enthusiastic to serve the customer. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Anon. "American Notes by Charles Dickens. Search, Read, Study, Discuss." The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 23 Mar. 2010. <>.
  • Blanton, Casey. Travel Writing: The Self and the World. New York: Routledge, 2002. Print.
  • Buzard, James. "The Grand Tour and after (1660-1840)." The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing. Eds. Peter Hulme and Tim Youngs. Cambridge University Press, 2002. Cambridge Collections Online. Cambridge University Press. 02 April 2010
  • "Dickens, Charles." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica 2009 Student and Home Edition. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009.
  • Taylor, Jonathan. "Literary Encyclopedia: American Notes for General Circulation." Charles Dickens: American Notes for General Circulation (1842). The Literary Encyclopedia, 25 June 2002. Web. 23 Mar. 2010. <>.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

The United States and Dickens' "American Notes" (2011, August 23) Retrieved March 23, 2023, from

MLA Format

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