Monday, August 30, 2010

Expanding the Soul

Charles Dickens, born into a family whose patriarch was in a debtor's prison (is it even conceivable?) wrote a tale about a man driven to madness by his own visions of grandeur whilst living within the walls of such a prison. This man's daughter, faithful to his dying day finds work as a seamstress at the home of a wealthy, hard-hear-ted widow who nonetheless has secrets of conscience regarding the girl's family.

Her son, reared by shrewd parents, denounces the family business when the father's dying wish to 'make it right' is rejected by the wife. The backdrop of poverty and privilege, love and madness, weaves a lush but dizzying fabric behind the more obvious events in the lives of two unlikely lovers.

Before we see the deserving couple united, the rejection, abuse, disappointment, and bewildering circumstances they must endure causes their inner selves to grow, and nutures a truly righteous and unselfish spirit in them both. It is completely satisfying to watch this struggle make them better human beings, or quite possibly bring out what was already the seed of goodness in them. Perhaps better yet, is the steady and heartening realization that we all have circumstances from which such hard-won goodness can be forged. It is  so much easier to watch someone else and see their progress. Their pain is not quite so personal!

I am amazed that Mr. Dickens' stories can be portrayed by modern means and touch me in such a meaningful and relevant way.
Bravo to the BBC!

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