Carl Wilson is a retired insurance executive who now leads adult reading seminars on 19 th and early 20 th-century British writers including Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and E. M. Forster. Under his pen name, Christopher Lord, he has published numerous short stories and two Dickens-themed mysteries. He became a Dickens fan more than 50 years ago after reading Our Mutual Friend, which remains his favorite book, even after ten readings. He lives in Portland, OR, where he and his husband also serve as staff to their Devon Rex, Miss Lucretia Tox.
What is the Riot Act?
- What do we learn about the roles of Gashford and Sir Edward Chester in this section?
- What animal imagery do you find in this section? How does it carry forward from earlier parts of the novel?
- Does Gabriel Varden’s treatment of Sim Tappertit in these chapters surprise you? Why or why not?
- Symbols and metaphors are effective in creative writing because they do heavy lifting: that is, they convey more meaning in fewer words than straightforward language. Discuss these metaphors that appear in these pages:
The mob as sea/ocean: how many times does it appear?
The daze John Willet experiences at the ransacking of the Maypole
The meaning of the ringing bell to Mr. Rudge: what does it mean to him? To the reader?