The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home by Charles Dickens
The subtitle is ‘A Fairy Tale of Home’ and it is a light domestic tale about insecurity and redemption. A married couple share an affectionate and caring relationship, but the husband fears that the age gap between them could be a problem. Age is referenced often and by different characters, so he is quick to believe that his young wife would have an affair with a younger man.
The usual Dickens creativity is here: caricatured characters, aptly named, and an unmistakable opening. This involves a kettle that sings and shows a personality, indicating a lighter theme than some his other works. There is a contrast between the ugly rich people and good, happy and decent poor folk, but the social issues end there.
The Fairy Tale element comes in the form of a cricket, that chirps musically when things are going well, but remains silent when things are not so good. It sits on the hearth like a good luck charm and has potential supernatural powers to ensure domestic harmony.
A witty, uplifting tale suitable for the season of goodwill. Enjoy.
Originally published by Bradbury and Evans on 20 December 1845. This edition published on 11 August 2022.
Published at Wed, 21 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000