Martin Chuzzlewit follows that formula that Dickens is so good at executing - our hero is basically a good person, but has some character flaws. Hero goes on a journey/experiences some serious hardship. Hero reforms and repents. And everyone lives happily ever after. I don't mind this formula and many of his stories that follow it, like Our Mutual Friend, end up being one of my favorite classics. But, in this story, our hero Martin Chuzzlewit goes on a journey to the United States and not only does he face physical hardship, but has to endure the crassness and shallow liberality of Americans. Definitely there was an agenda here describing Dickens dislike of certain American qualities. In some ways this was enlightening to see a visitor's viewpoint of America during the 1800's, but the message was too strong, and some of those quirky characters that he executes so well became a sounding board for his agenda.