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Examine the presentation of bullying in Oliver Twist.

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Introduction

Examine the presentation of bullying in Oliver Twist " Oliver Twist", written by Charles Dickens is famously known all across the world and also as one of his best novels. The novel is based on the life of a boy born into a workhouse, which is a world of distinctive cruelty and oppression. Oliver is a young boy who faced struggle from the minute he was born and brought up as an "orphan" and " a workhouse child" by the parish authorities, after losing his mother at his birth and his father remained anonymous. Charles Dickens resumed working on the novel in 1837, and it mirrors his own experience in life of how he was forced to work in a workhouse, a place believed at the time, to be a harrowing and shameful place, a place turned to by the poor with no other alternative. Society at the time was Victorian who referred to the workhouse as a place to be turned too by those in need of a punishment. Dickens has created "Oliver Twist" to criticise and expose the harshness of society back in Victorian times where torment and bullying took place within such places as the workhouse. ...read more.

Middle

But in contrast Oliver is just another orphan who needs taking care of or as seen as the society at the time "a drain on society". Also by describing Oliver's clothes as "grown yellow" it shows that there is no care or love there for Oliver and gives us an indication of what is to come in the rest of the novel. Bullying is also shown where it speaks of Oliver having been, "bagged and ticketed, and fell into place at once- to be cuffed and buffeted through the world- despised by all, and pitied by none". This shows us the cruelty of the majority of society at the time that nothing else was important to them but themselves and material things such as money. Another way in which bullying is shown, is through the character of Fagin, who is himself a victim of society as described by Dickens as being an "old shrivelled Jew" and having a "villainous and repulsive face". Irony is shown here, as by describing Fagin as being a victim of society this suggests he has a weakness but actually Fagin has the power to manipulate and control the boys and mentally forcing them into pick pocketing and other crimes. ...read more.

Conclusion

This creates a contrast, as although he is sneaking and doesn't want to wake Nancy, at the same time he is extra cautious by "double locking the front door". This part of the book contrasts with the start where Dickens says "brings new life". The murder of Nancy not only shows how brutal Bill can be but at the same time his cowardliness, by after committing the murder running away. Dickens created this book, to show us as the readers that today bullying in such a way, still goes on and he tries to make us more aware of the brutality of life. He also tries to make us more aware of the workhouses, and the fact that Victorian society knew and was made aware of the injustices going on at that time. Whether we live in society today, or did back then, Dickens makes us wary of the fact that there are always going to be people like Fagin in society, people in who should pay for the torture and bullying in which they inflict on others. By the end of this book, we see Fagin having paid for the bullying he inflicted on Oliver, when he is executed. ...read more.

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