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

How Are ‘A Safe Place’ by Lorenzo Carcaterra And ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens Similar And Different?

Extracts from this document...


How Are 'A Safe Place' by Lorenzo Carcaterra And 'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens Similar And Different? 'A Safe Place' by Lorenzo Carcaterra and 'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens both have similar characters, being Oliver Twist and Lorenzo Carcaterra. They also have similar themes of poverty and childhood. Yet they were set in very different places at very different times. 'Oliver Twist' is the story of an orphaned boy and his struggle to survive in Victorian London. 'A Safe Place' is an autobiographical account of Lorenzo Carcaterra's childhood in 1940's Hells Kitchen, New York. It tells of how his father beat him and how his family was always trying to escape poverty. Therefore both books tell of a lonely and poverty-ridden childhood filled with abuse and false hope. The first chapter of 'Oliver Twist' describes his birth. The way this event is described gives you an idea of his destiny. It writes him off from the beginning. "He was badged and ticketed, and fell into his place at once - a parish child - the orphan of a workhouse - the humble, half-starved drudge - to be cuffed and buffeted through the world - despised by all". This quote sums up the mood of the entire first chapter. There is no hope for Oliver. Before Oliver runs away to London he is subjected to the labours of being an orphan in Victorian times. ...read more.


There are large amounts of elaborate description, often using long, structured sentences, and in-depth character descriptions at every introduction. Charles Dickens effortlessly switches between physical description and more in depth character analysis, "Now, Mr. Bumble was a fat man, and a choleric; so instead of responding to this open-hearted salutation in a kindred spirit, he gave a little wicket a tremendous shake". There is also a lot of flowing dialogue, which can often become confusing to read, as it is hard to follow who is talking. Conversations often last more than two pages. The language in the two novels is very different but both fit the era in which they were written. Charles Dickens and Lorenzo Carcaterra use very different descriptions for both characters and settings but both work to the same effect. Charles Dickens painting an elaborate and dark view of the back streets of Victorian London and Lorenzo Carcaterra telling tales of a rough yet close neighbourhood in 1940's New York. 'Oliver Twist' is written from a 3rd person point of view. It is as though Charles Dickens is watching the events unfold before him and telling the reader how he sees them, although often with a slight bias towards Oliver. It is told by an omniscient narrator. When Oliver Twist was first written it was in weekly sagas for a magazine. This explains the cliffhangers at the end of each chapter and the way the storylines jump around and are unpredictable. ...read more.


The beatings Lorenzo Carcaterra and his mother received at the hands of his father are seen as both disturbing and an integral part of family life. It is a view of volatile family life from a member of such a family. This position gives 'A Safe Place' a very personal feel to it as Lorenzo Carcaterra tells us all his thoughts on his unpleasant childhood and then continues these themes into his adult life. The books are written from a suitable point of view for the theme although 'A Safe Place' is probably a slightly more in-depth and realistic view of the issues it deals with. 'Oliver Twist' is more of a commentary although Charles Dickens childhood was also filled with poverty so he was in a better position than most to write about struggling to survive. In both books the poverty of certain characters leads to large amounts of stress, which leads to murder. This is an underlying theme in both books, saying that people only commit crimes because they are put in a position where they have to. I conclude that 'A Safe Place' and 'Oliver Twist' have very similar themes, those being poverty, poor upbringing, isolation and death, but are written in very different styles, based on very different stories set in different periods and different places. Despite these differences both books provide a very good view of life at the time they were written and are as much about society and history as they are about being stories. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Estall ...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 ...

    understands because he is so young and inexperienced makes the reader feel sympathetic for Oliver and anger for Fagin for treating Oliver this way. Again our feelings of sympathy are renewed when Oliver realises that justice cannot save him from Fagin as he is in his 'accidental companionship' and would be confused as also guilty.

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

    here are not good Christians so they shouldn't be asking whether Oliver is a good Christian in such a offensive way. The gentlemen later go on to talk about what work he will be doing. They say that all the paupers and people plunged into poverty like picking oakum.

  1. Oliver Twist

    The bond between Oliver and Mr. Brownlow is suggested before it actually happens. We already knew that Mr. Brownlow was like an uncle to him when he takes him in. Oliver is taken from lower-class to high-class. Whereas in real life in 19th Century England the fact that Oliver started as an orphan would have meant that he was almost certain to end in ruin.


    'Of having bruised three or four boys to death already' Mr Gamfield treated children with no respect and beat them if they did not do as he said. After a little negotiation the money reward was reduced but the board accepted Mr Gamfield's offer.

  1. What does the character of Bill Sykes bring To the novel of ‘Oliver Twist’?

    Bill Sykes us the archetypal Victorian villain. To be a real villain Sykes must show no compassion for anyone and we see that on many occasions. When Nancy has nursed him back to health, staying up for nights looking after him, he turns on her the moment he wakes up.

  2. How suitably does Charles Dickens portrays the misery of the 19th century orphans in ...

    this shows how hard-hearted people are. They couldn't understand the feelings of another people. Dicken's emotional and evocative language arouses are sympathy throughout the novel. "Oliver fell on his knees and clasping his hands together and prayed that they would order him back to the darkroom -That they would starve

  1. Show how Dickens has created atmosphere and tension through his descriptions of setting and ...

    Another way Dickens introduces tension to the chapter is through the technique of alliteration, for example 'the low leaden line' when used in the description of the marshes. The description is in itself a long sentence consisting of a vast amount of connectives and repetition, and so already the sentence has been familiarized with techniques used to lengthen it.

  2. How does Charles Dickens in the early part of Oliver Twist use the character ...

    In the opening chapters of Oliver Twist, Dickens attacks the New Poor Law enacted in 1834. Previously it had been the burden of the parishes to care for the poor through alms and taxes, for the poor to be put in a workhouse was more of a punishment than charity because they were treated with no respect.

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