Manusya, Journal of Humanities


Keyvan Alahyari

Publication Date



Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was, at once, the most prominent English novelist of the mid-nineteenth century and one of the most industrious workers in facilitating the emigration of the British lower classes to colonial Australia. Throughout his novelistic and journalistic depictions of Australia, Dickens draws upon the textual tradition of the imaginary construction of the southern continent. His writings, therefore, function as complementing pieces for the discursive puzzle of 'Australia' and 'the Australian' from the Empire's point of view. I will argue that Dickens' picture of Australia echoes the tenets of the centuries-held discourse of Antipodeanism. Under the guise of an impartial outlook, Dickens' writings about the southern colony act as a hegemonic drive to ease the dissemination of imperialist ideas, hence the material domination of Australia. The power-directed aspect of these items, however, remains hidden under a philanthropic veneer. In addition, economic and spatial availability of Australia could not be justified in Dickens' words, unless the core binarist system of representing the colony in relation to the metropolis is maintained.

First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.