The conditions at “Dotheboys Hall” school in “Nicholas Nickelby” were unprivileged. The school was so poor that the children had to eat “cold, runny porridge” and work in bitter conditions Mr. Squeers feared that if they used all the stuff they could not make a profit out of the school. They could not afford anything and that was the reason why he stole the children’s possessions. The children looked “pale and haggard,” lank and bony figures with deformities “upon their limbs.
” Laurie Lee was better off, and could say he was at a greater advantage than Nicholas was. They received “fresh, new books” and had heating in the classrooms ” the tub of warmth. ” The school was lively “wild” boys and girls from miles around, “we were packed into the walls with pupils. ” The village was “poor and crowded. ” Sometimes there would be a “beating” which nobody took notice off except the pupils “red faced mothers. ” The conditions seem to be serious as in “Nicholas Nickleby.
” The main difference is that there is a different condition, better than in “Cider with Rosie” than “Nicholas Nickleby. ” This is due to the difference in time because there are better standards later than earlier and that is what applies to them too. Some conditions are the equivalent to crowded areas and the scare of beating. Money is the foremost reason for the majority of the conditions especially in “Nicholas Nickleby. ” The character Nicholas seemed very depressed and sympathetic for the children.
He did not intend to go to school and to find it to be as shocking as he did. He was more than happy to talk to “Smike” about his situation. Nicholas is worried about his sister because he had a “terrible thought” he is concerned. He hopes that his parents do not “consign” her to “some miserable place” he feels “self degraded by the consciousness” of his position and feels guilty, planning to “do some good” for the children. Laurie did not feel the same way Nicholas did. He was young and didn’t want to go to school, who did?
“I ain’t going I’m stopping ‘ome! ” at the age of four, do you blame him? His intention of not going is so desperate that he was “carried up the road, kicking and brawling. ” When replaced with a new teacher Mrs. Wardley, he gets on the wrong side of her. Cue to his lack of motivation she calls him “fat and lazy” which he was quite proud of, when he admits that, ” that was the name she called me! ” Before Charles Dickens wrote he “Nicholas Nickleby” travelled to Yorkshire with a friend to gather some information about schools.
Even as a child, he was horrified when hearing such dreadful stories about the conditions of schools. Charles Dickens education system would have been different because it was in the early nineteenth century. At that time many things were happening like: Church of England operated primary schools in the UK, students had to pay small fees to study the Bible, catechism, reading, writing and arithmetic, in 1833 British parliament passed a law for Government funds and in 1862 UK established a school grant system called payment by results.
(Also the year that Dickens died The Education Act of 1870, called the Forster Act, authorised local government boards schools operated by the Government and voluntary schools conducted by the church and other private organisations). A lot happened but at Laurie Lee’s time of education, more major changes happened. A Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget had a major on the educational theory in the early twentieth century. He wrote extensively on the development of thought and language patterns on children.
He believed that children, by exploring their environment, create their own ides/thoughts, or intellectual conceptions of reality. He thought that human intelligence developed in stages, a person’s understanding of the world in a new and more complex way. This switched the way children were taught, and how and why people cared about education compared to before, in the early nineteenth century. In conclusion, it goes to shows how much of a disadvantage Nicholas was at because Laurie had the chance to have an education but did not even bother.
He had no working attitude or effort and frequently “got into trouble. ” as you can see that there are a lot of similarities, differences, and facts, which I have expressed. One thing to remember is that they were written at different times and that is why there are so many comparisons. As time moves on, education (school life/systems) and language changes, develops and that is what you have to remember because it is important. I am delighted that I was not born or had to study at school in Dickens’s era; I am counting myself as a very lucky person. I mean, who would not?