Title: Remaking worlds: the urban landscape of Dombey and Son


Vol. 8(3), 2020, pp. 7-22.

DOI: 10.46687/SILC.2020.v08i03.001


Author: N. Belgin Elbir

About the author: Professor N. Belgin Elbir, PhD is professor and chair in the Department of English Language and Literature at Atılım University, Ankara, Turkey. She received her BA from Ankara University, Department of English Language and Literature, her MA from Hacettepe University and her PhD from Ankara University.  She worked at Ankara University, Faculty of Letters as lecturer and department chair before she retired in 2012 and started to work at Atılım University where she was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences until 2017. Professor Elbir’s main area of research is English Literature, focusing on the novel, poetry, literature and language teaching, women’s writing and literary translation.




Citation (APA style): Elbir, N. B. (2020). Remaking worlds: the urban landscape of Dombey and Son. Studies in Linguistics, Culture, and FLT, 8(3), 7-22. doi: 10.46687/SILC.2020.v08i03.001




Abstract: This article examines Charles Dickens’s depiction of the changing urban landscape of London in his novel Dombey and Son (1848), as an environmentally aware response to, and a powerful critique of, the processes and impact of industrialisation, urbanisation and commercialisation. The argument is inspired by Adelene Buckland’s (2013) study on the significance of the science of geology in Victorian literature that regards Dombey and Son as a novel representing the author’s engagement with the scientific culture of his time. I argue that this engagement informs, the novel’s portrayal of the processes of change and transformation, intended to reveal, to the novel’s readers and characters alike, a historical and expanding vision of the social and natural environment that draws attention, as the plot advances, to the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life, human and non-human. The urban landscape thus becomes a means of describing and exploring characters’ moral perspective that Dickens presents as an essential feature of their sense of identity, and their relationship with the physical environment as well as one another.


Key words: Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son, urbanization, industrialization, the science of geology.



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