In this best of all possible blogs, everything I type is for the best

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From Sharon Hamilton’s Essential Literary Terms:

“In addition, Dickens often gives a character a favorite tag line that sums up his or her outlook or values” (Hamilton 99).

Ah yes, the tag line.  Anytime I think of a character’s tagline I always think of Pangloss from Voltaire’s Candide.  Pangloss’ response to everything was: “Dans ce meilleur des mondes possibles, tout est au mieux" (or in English: “In this best of all possible worlds, everything is for the best.")  Pangloss, in the book, was a respected philosopher.  No matter what happened, it was always for the best.  At one point, Pangloss even prevents Candide (the main character) from saving a man who is drowning.  His reasoning being the man’s death will be for the best.  Voltaire uses this ridiculous belief to mock the optimism of the time.  But one last note on tag lines, it seems to me that generally people who have these tag lines are not portrayed as the most intelligent people.  It’s almost like that one thing that they say over and over again, is all they know.  (Or is it more they know what they are saying is not quite right, and need to repeat it over and over to convince themselves?)      

1 Comments

Stephanie Wytovich said:

That's a really good thought Gretta. I never looked at tag lines that way. I just always took the obvious route and believed that that was their stress point, their enuciation. That was how they were known. But what you said about the characters not being portrayed as the most intelligent makes sense. I mean that line could be all that the character knows! Good analysis!

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