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Charles Dickens wrote the novel "Oliver Twist" as a way of expressing his views on how the rich treated the poor, and how he felt about the laws regarding the poor.

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Introduction

Coursework-Oliver Twist Charles Dickens wrote the novel "Oliver Twist" as a way of expressing his views on how the rich treated the poor, and how he felt about the laws regarding the poor. At the time there was a huge gap between the rich and the poor due to industrialisation. This meant that the poor were left to survive in unpleasant, overcrowded conditions, and were treated harshly by the rich. Dickens felt strongly about this situation and wrote "Oliver Twist" with the intention of changing the public's attitude towards the poor. He uses pathos, wit, sarcasm, exaggeration, and emotional and deceptive writing to get his points and feelings across to the reader. Dickens uses a variety of techniques to expose Victorian Society's awful treatment of children of the poor. From the very beginning of the novel, Dickens starts describing the mistreatment of the poor. He uses the workhouse and authorities to show us just how badly the children are treated. A newborn baby is seen as a "new burden...imposed upon the parish", an "item of mortality", or a "statistic". Dickens shows the reader that Oliver has suffered from birth. "If he could have known...perhaps he would have cried the louder." ...read more.

Middle

What seems to be a reasonable, polite question from a growing boy is shown as a complete insult and offence to authority. "The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale.", "What!" It also highlights the innocence and na�vety of the children. Even if the children were to survive past life in the workhouse, they would be exploited by employment. It was typical of employers to exploit the poor children in the 1800s. A good example of this is when the chimney sweeps are at work, and their employers light the fire below. This clearly shows us the mistreatment of the employers. Dickens uses stereotyped characters to symbolise the superior, and how they treated the poor. Mr Fang, a notorious police magistrate, is extremely harsh on Oliver and presents an unreasonable sentence for Oliver's "crime", considering his age. "...committed for three months-hard labour..." This shows he is a cold-hearted, absent-minded man who Dickens uses to generalise magistrates in Victorian society. Mr Bumble, the beadle at the workhouse, constantly bullies and looks down on Oliver. "...one hundred and forty sixpences! - and all for a naughty orphan which nobody can't love." ...read more.

Conclusion

Many poor young children at the time were brought up as criminals, such as prostitutes and thieves, as that is the only way to survive. A good example of this is Nancy, the kind-hearted prostitute. "...some with the last lingerie tinge of their early freshness almost fading as you looked; others with every mark and stamp of their sex utterly beaten out..." This highlights that the young children do not have a choice and must go against their wishes to become such sinful criminals. Dickens uses pathos in this section to make the reader sympathise the poor children who commit these sins out of sheer desperation for survival. Many people believed that if you were born into a poor family, you stayed in that "station" for life, and could not move into the other. Charles Dickens tries to state that we are all born into the same world and it is only our upbringing that distinguishes us. He used Oliver to show us that through determination and willpower, you can overcome the bad and things will turn out how you want them to. Dickens was very bias towards Oliver throughout the book, and by using pathos, he emphasises that all good triumphs over evil. Oliver returned to his rightful place in society, and those who hurt him along the way were severely punished. ...read more.

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