The Semiotics of Hair-Dickens’ Art of Characterization
Before one begins to study the semiotics of hair in Dickens’s novels, it will be useful to keep in mind a few things. By the time Dickens was writing, there was a distinct change in fashions of hair in England. Previously facial hair for men other than a modest whisker had been unusual. For instance, moustaches were usually associated with military men and, on civilians were considered to be signs of foppery and general want of principle. But after the Crimean War, the British officers returned covered with glory and hair and that changed the trend in fashion. The aim of this paper is to study the semiotics of hair in the novels of Dickens, and to find out the advantages and disadvantages, if any, of this method of characterization that travels from the outside to the inside. Obviously, while every attempt is made to include as many examples as possible, in a paper of this nature, one cannot be expected to be fully exhaustive.
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