Martin Chuzzlewit is arguably, as James R. Kincaid puts it, Dickens’s “funniest novel” (132). It is a work transitional between the loosely plotted comedy of The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1) and the more tightly plotted social criticism of Dombey and Son (1846-8). It is built around the tale of the misanthropic and selfish Martin Chuzzlewit whose wealthy grandfather (of the same name) denies his suit to marry a young orphan he has adopted, Mary Graham, and who then ships for America as an architect for the Eden Land Corporation (a name which satirically conjoins paradise to capitalism), a fraudulent concern which ruins and nearly kills him, thus allowing him to return to England a sadder and wiser …
White, Adam. "Martin Chuzzlewit". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2013; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3719, accessed 27 April 2015.]