chapter  4
Among the dying and the dead": Metonymy and Finance Capitalism in Our Mutual Friend
Pages 32

While several of Dickens's earlier works offer critiques of capitalism, Dur Mutual Friend (1864-65) plunges beneath the obvious outward representations of the capitalist system to grapple with the process (and the figure) at its heart: metonymy. Dur Mutual Friends foundational figure of speech is metonymy, and its fundamental projeet is metonymie. That is, the novel seeks to understand and arrest the process by which "value" moves from commodity to commodity, a process which seems, in capitalist society, to operate more or less autonomously. Then, given this understanding, the novel attempts to discover alternatives, ways for humans to choose their destinies in sueh a society, rather than simply sueeumbing to eapitalism's powerful shape-shifting process.