Dickens Novella Reading Challenge

My review of;

The battle of life

The Battle of Life is a novella by Charles Dickens


This story has been recapped beautifully by Marsha who is hosting this challenge with Trent, Yvette in three posts, here , here and here . I will share my impressions and opinions about this Novella.

The theme of this novella is based on the battles one faces in life and winning them. Unlike his other stories, this does not have any supernatural reference, and is solidly grounded in everyday life.

Dickens writes of the selfless love that one sister, Marion has for her elder sister, Grace, and how she gambles away her reputation in a bid to give her beloved older sister a chance with Alfred, the person she secretly loves.

In this way, Marion is quite like Warden, who in the folly of youth had gambled away his inheritance and had to flee the country to avoid his debtors, for she too takes a risk on losing her reputation by making it look like she has eloped with Warden, whereas, all the while she was living with her aunt.

Dickens gave the readers a happy ending, where not only do both the sisters find happiness in their married lives but also the two servants, Clemency and Ben working for them end up being happily married to each other and owning and running the village inn.

Their father gets to reconcile with his sister and they provide each other company in their old age.

This book has a simple story, without any political or social overtones. But has a lesson to impart nevertheless; Life is not a bed of roses for anyone, and even if the circumstances aren’t ideal, we can always try to make them better and live a better, happier life.





29 thoughts on “Dickens Novella Reading Challenge

  1. This is a great review, Sadje. You captured the essence of the story succinctly. I hadn’t thought about Marion gambling away her inheritance, but she did. She could have easily married Alfred, her sister would still have been happy and might have found love elsewhere eventually, and she wouldn’t have been such a prodigal daughter. Who knows? Another story for another day.

    Liked by 1 person

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