• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider the presentation of bullying within the novel, Oliver Twist, and how Dickens emphasises the plight of the victims, Nancy and Oliver, against the cruelty of society, Fagin and Bill Sikes.

Extracts from this document...


Amy Brown Consider the presentation of bullying within the novel, Oliver Twist, and how Dickens emphasises the plight of the victims, Nancy and Oliver, against the cruelty of society, Fagin and Bill Sikes. Oliver Twist was written by Charles Dickens during the period of 1837 to 1839. The novel is about the indictment of cruelty that children suffered at the hands of society. Bullying is a main issue within the novel, Oliver Twist. Charles Dickens based the novel upon bullying within society. There are many types of bullying used throughout the novel; including institutional, physical, emotional, verbal and group bullying. Throughout the novel Dickens criticises Victorian society. He wrote the novel based on the personal experiences of previous hardships inflicted on people. Dickens emphasised the treatment of the poor, the conditions in which children survived and the way in which society treated each other. Throughout the novel, Dickens uses irony, sarcasm and satire to reinforce his points to illustrate the conditions in which people lived. The subject of Institutional bullying is highlighted at the beginning of the novel. Oliver Twist was just one of the subjects of institutional bullying. In Victorian society, workhouses were very common places for individuals to live. People were sent to the workhouse if they did not have any where else to go. ...read more.


Dickens appeals to the readers senses when writing about the place where Fagin lives. 'Wallowing in filth', suggests a vision, 'air impregnated with filthy odours', suggests a smell. This gives an idea that Fagin is a horrible character before he is even introduced. Dickens also uses a comparative form to show what the place is like, 'A dirtier or more wretched place he had ever seen', while reinforcing the idea that the place is even dirtier than the workhouse. Dickens describes the character of Fagin using the words a 'very old shrivelled Jew' 'who's villainous looking and repulsive face was obscured by a quantity of matted red hair'. 'Villainous looking and repulsive' is ironic because 'Old shrivelled Jew' suggests a weakness, but this is also ironic as Fagin has power. He comes across as a weak old man. Fagin is referred to as 'Jew' by Oliver, this has a sense of judgement, and Oliver is doing to Fagin what Noah did. When Oliver first sees Fagin, he was cooking 'with a toasting- folk in his hand'. This is a metaphor as it has the implication of an evil, controlling character. Dickens highlights the fact that Fagin's character is dirty and unkempt, 'he dressed in a greasy flannel gown. Fagin's main technique, when bullying the boys is a form of manipulation. ...read more.


The reader gets a sense of goodness against evilness. The reader again sympathises with Nancy as she is murdered while Dickens emphasises Sikes evil ways. Bill Sikes runs away from the scene of the crime which shows that ultimately he is a coward, and his conscience finally dawns on him. After Nancy's death Dickens uses superlatives to show the reader how cruel Sikes crime is, he uses powerful words like 'worst', 'foulest' and 'most cruel'. Bullying is again highlighted throughout this section. Here though, Dickens has highlighted a different type of bullying. It is immediate bullying that is used. Sikes performed a nasty and brutal murder. Dickens uses a metaphor of the weather to contrast the murder, it is an ironic contrast though, as sun brings new life but it can not bring Nancy back to life. 'The sun, the bright sun' shows Bill Sikes truly as a vicious bully. Towards the end of the novel both Bill Sikes and Fagin die, while Oliver finds happiness and security. The book makes the reader aware of Victorian society, the sheer terror of the workhouse and bullying within that society. Charles Dickens uses a range of techniques to present the bullies within the novel. He uses a wide range of language, sarcasm and irony throughout. Charles Dickens emphasises many types of bullying and throughout his novel highlights episodes of violence and bullying which most of Victorian society accepted. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Oliver Twist section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Oliver Twist essays

  1. After studying 'Oliver Twist' the reader gains understanding of the true horrors that exist ...

    detailed so as to display in the readers mind the events portrayed in his writing. The setting is crucial in the persuasion of the readers of the dangers and horrors found within London in the Victorian period. Adjectives are one of Dickens techniques which help to create the scene in the readers mind.

  2. What difficulties does Oliver face in 'Oliver Twist' and how does he overcome them?

    Brownlow to repay that favor. But before long he found the perfect opportunity to please him by taking some novels back to a stall for Mr. Brownlow just before dark. He had thought that his troubles of Sykes and Fagin were far behind now, but the criminal underworld left him

  1. How Is the Character of Fagin Presented in

    Which lulled Oliver into a false sense of security, as he thought that Fagin was a moral and decent person; but Fagin, through his small actions, and his tone, showed that he had more sinister intentions. For example, in chapter 8, when his pickpockets had come back with their trophies,

  2. In Oliver Twist Dickens Uses Environment to Reflect Feelings, In The Lord of The ...

    "Simon's effort fell about him in ruins, the laughter beat cruelly at him..." This gives the impression that Simon feels compelled to disagree with the evil, which is the basis of his world, but is beaten down by what he cannot contend with.

  1. How effectively does Charles Dickens use language to portray 19th centuryLondon society in his ...

    through so much misery that the best way out for them was death. People belonging to the criminal world are stereotyped to be harsh and cold blooded. We see Bill Sikes' vicious nature in the treatment of his dog "poker and the clasp-knife in his hands".

  2. Charles Dickens uses Oliver Twist to make social comments on attitudes towards crime and ...

    He writes Oliver's feelings for the place 'Wretched as were the little companions in misery he was leaving behind, they were the only friends he had ever known; and a sense of his loneliness in the great wide world sank into the child's heart for the first time.'

  1. How effectively does Dickens use language to portray the misery of orphans in the ...

    deal may be got for seven pence- half penny, quite enough to overload its stomach, and make it uncomfortable. The elderly female was wise and knew what was good for the children" through this line Dickens shows us Oliver is living a miserable life.

  2. English Coursework - Oliver Twist - Fagin

    Dickens purposely makes Fagin cook sausages and hold a toasting fork because he wants to give the impression to the reader that Fagin with toasting fork in hand resembles the devil. Dickens also describes Fagin as a "merry old gentleman".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work