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Explore the ways in which human suffering is portrayed in Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' and James Watson's 'Talking in Whispers'. How do the writers create sympathy for the characters of Andres Larreta and Oliver Twist?

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Introduction

Explore the ways in which human suffering is portrayed in Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' and James Watson's 'Talking in Whispers'. How do the writers create sympathy for the characters of Andres Larreta and Oliver Twist? Can they be considered heroes in the light of their suffering? I am going to explore the ways in which human suffering is portrayed in Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' and James Watson's 'Talking in Whispers'. I am also going to explore the ways in which sympathy is created for the characters Oliver Twist and Andres Larreta. With consideration of Oliver Twist's and Andres Larreta's suffering I am going to see if they can be considered as heroes. I am going to do all of this by analysing areas of the novels, 'Oliver Twist' and 'Talking in Whispers'. Oliver Twist and Andres Larreta both experience a great deal of suffering. They experience physical, emotional and mental suffering. The societies in which they are a part of also suffer. The suffering of society in both novels 'Oliver Twist' and 'Talking in Whispers' are caused by the authorities. However, the society in 'Talking in Whispers' seems to be much bigger than the society that comes across in 'Oliver Twist'. I think this is because 'Oliver Twist' is mainly about the life of Oliver Twist and how he reunites with some of his relatives, whereas 'Talking in Whispers' mainly focuses on Andres Larreta's life and Chile under dictatorship. It also has lots of information about the Chileans as a whole. Both character's Andres Larreta and Oliver Twist possess heroic qualities. I believe they are both heroes for surviving the suffering they had received. Oliver Twist and Andres Larreta both experience physical and emotional suffering. Oliver Twist is a young child, below the age of 10 years. He experiences a great deal of physical suffering. Oliver experiences abuse at the workhouse. He was very poor and had little food, which made him hungry. ...read more.

Middle

Andres must feel helpless knowing this. As Andres could not help his father when he was being taken, he tried to overcome the Junta and gain freedom for Chile in tribute to his father. I think that his will power to do this came from the love for his father. He also suffers emotionally as he loves his father and does not want him to be tortured, Andres wants his father with him. He worries about his father because he loves him. Naturally, no child would like their parents to be tortured and taken away from them. Not only does Andres experience emotional and mental suffering, he also experiences physical suffering. When the authorities are torturing Andres for information, he is severely beaten. They physically hurt Andres by beating him and electrocuting him. "A charge of electricity shuddered his body", "He beat him", "A last kick hurtled Andres into unconsciousness". James Watson explains to the reader what they did to Andres in the torturing. The quotes are quite physical and create threatening images in the readers' mind. It is quite a vivid description. I think James Watson put these descriptions in his novel because, like Charles Dickens, he wants people to know what goes on in the torture room and how the authorities treat people. I think this has quite a shocking effect in the novel. I say this, as it is a very traumatic and horrific experience. The physical suffering Andres receives is much more violent than the physical suffering Oliver receives. Although, Oliver's opinion on his physical suffering, for him is probably quite violent and scary as Oliver is a very young child. James Watson describes Andres beating is some detail, he does make it seem quite violent. This creates lots of images in the readers mind and also creates sympathy for Andres as he is experiencing lots of pain. If anybody disobeys the Junta's rules and regulations, or go against the junta in any way, like the way Juan did when he sang offensive songs about the junta, they like Juan will become one of the 'disappeared'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although, to an extent I think they may not be regarded as heroes. I say this, as they are not the only people that have been through that much suffering. Other Chileans have experienced what Andreas has experienced and other poor children have been through what Oliver has experienced, if not much more. Although Andres and Oliver are the main characters in the two novels, and from the readers' point of view they are probably the principal characters because they are the two characters that the novels focus on. There are more people similar to Andres and Oliver who suffer much more. I think that Andres physically suffers more than Oliver does, as his physical suffering is far more violent and severe. However, I think Oliver mentally and emotionally suffers more than Andres. Because he is a young child and has not yet had much of a life experience. Andres is also much older then Oliver and can handle more suffering than Oliver. I also think that as Oliver is much younger than Andres, sympathy is easier to create. Sympathy is easier to create as people tend to have more feelings for young little children, especially the less fortunate children like Oliver. Even though more sympathy is created for Oliver I think that Andres is regarded as more of a hero. The fact that today more people know about the less fortunate children in the orphan homes people have grown to except it although they disagree with it. Whereas Andres' situation is more difficult to imagine and put yourself in. There is more awareness about orphans then there is about dictatorship and the situation Chile is in. This makes Andres' situation more shocking to the reader; it makes the situation unimaginable. I have analysed both novels and think that there is a lot of sympathy being created and suffering taking place in both novels. I also think that both characters are to be regarded as heroes. In my opinion I think both novels have effective ways in educating the reader and creating awareness. ...read more.

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