In chapter 2 of Book 2, Dickens writes: “ …the Old Bailey, at that date, was a choice illustration of the precept that ‘Whatever is, is right”… According to Dickens, there was a general feeling about tradition and change at this point in the story. Explain what that feeling is. (Book 2 Chapters 1-6)
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Old Bailey is described in Chapter 2 as a perfect example of the precept, "Whatever is is right," a direct quotation from Alexander Pope, an eighteenth- century satirist. The phrase is the last line of the first Epistle of his Essay on Man, which Pope wrote to laud man's abilities and the great possibilities of his relationship with God. The first Epistle is mainly concerned with theodicy, that is, explaining why a perfect God would allow suffering in a world of his own creation. The French philosopher Voltaire challenged the optimism of "whatever is is right" in his satire Candide. In his own way, consistent with his self-image as a social crusader, Dickens also finds this optimism unlikely. It seems unforgivable that Old Bailey is allowed to continue in its abuses, despite the fact that it has handed down incorrect and probably unjust sentences.