Writing a Novel including Social Justice issues

Nicholas Nickleby is a famous novel by Charles Dickens. It is a story that describes the harsh and cruel conditions that children had to endure within many of the schools at the time in 17th century England. Due to the widespread popularity of this novel and many others he wrote, it helped to instigate many reforms in the schools of England during this period.

In watching the story of Nicholas Nickleby on film, I discovered an important fact that enabled Charles Dickens’ novel to be so readable successful and hence able to instigate social change.

The important factor in his novels is that he included the perfect balance of comedy and humour interspersed into the segments which described the squalid and cruel conditions of the schools at the time. Hence this is an important point to note for other potential writers of  novels. For many readers it can be too depressing to wade through a whole book which only describes depressing and serious issues all the time. I can vouch for this because once I was reading a book of this nature and I did not have the emotional strength to finish it since it was just too deep and depressing for me to continue to read.

However in the novel Nicholas Nickleby there are are plenty of light hearted comedy characters and events,  along with good hearted jolly people to lift the reader’s spirits, after every dark and serious encounter.  This enables the whole novel to be read to the very end,  while the poignant message of the more serious issues that need reform, can also be successfully covered by the reader as well.

With this in mind I encourage all gifted and potential writers to describe some of the social injustices in our society in story form, since this has proven in the past to be a successful vehicle for social change.

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