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

How does Dickens show the social injustices of Victorian England in the opening of Oliver Twist?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Dickens show the social injustices of Victorian England in the opening of Oliver Twist? During Charles Dickens' life he wrote many books, although they are different, but they reflect each other in many ways. I believe the biggest similarity in his collection of books is with 'Oliver Twist' - a story of a young boy who lives in an orphanage and 'Great Expectations' which is a story of a young orphan named Phillip Pirrip, or Pip as he is more commonly known. Both books are semi-autobiographical as they hint upon Dickens' life as he grew up in a workhouse and was horrified by the social conditions of Victorian Britain. He used his work to help reform the class system. Few among the social classes recognised or cared about the conditions suffered by children in the workhouses. Some children turned to crime or, worse, died of starvation. Dickens had gone through the anguish of being pulled out of school and put to work in a shoe-polish factory. His father had been sent to a well known debtors' prison called Marshalsea and there was no money for Dickens' education. To his embarrassment, Dickens was moved to a window at the front of the factory for bystanders to see him as he glued labels on to tubs of shoe polish. ...read more.

Middle

Eventually the starving boys decide that one of them will ask for more at the next meal and they come up with a way of deciding it and, as it turns out, Oliver gets the short straw and ends up saying 'Please sir, I want some more'. Mr Bumble almost can't believe what Oliver has said and his face turns pale and he stumbles and clings for support. This is one of the most important parts of Oliver's life because it changes the path of his life completely. Straight away he is marched down to the market by Mr Bumble - offering Oliver together with five pounds. Eventually they come across Mr Gamfield, a vicious chimney-sweep who offers to take Oliver on as an apprentice for 5 pounds which is later lowered to 3. Mr. Bumble, Mr. Gamfield, and Oliver appear before a magistrate to sign the documents for Oliver to be taken. At the last minute, when he was looking for his inkbottle to sign the document, the magistrate notices Oliver's pale face. He asks the boy why he looks so petrified. Oliver tells the magistrate that he would rather be beaten or killed rather than being an apprentice to Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eventually the shop owner from outside where the robbery took place comes in and says it wasn't Oliver but another boy - all the charges are dropped. Mr Brownlow decides to adopt Oliver and all the parts of Olivers life are falling right into place. It then gets even better when Mr Brownlow comes across a necklace that he gave to his niece for her 18th birthday - one that was taken off her by a drunk nurse at her death when she gave birth to young Oliver. Fagin is still not convinced that Oliver won't tell the police of his wearabouts so they decide to kidnapp Oliver, which completley rips his troubled life apart, just as it was beginning to come-together. Unlike other characters throughout the book Nancy is not entirely good. She has battles between her inner conscience and her devotion to Bill Sykes. Nancy cares for Oliver so overwhelmingly she tries to take Oliver back to Mr Brownlow and it results in her death. Eventually Bill Sykes is killed trying to escape after everybody comes to try to save Oliver. This book changed peoples opinion towards the poor and the rich people loved reading it and couldn't wait for the next issue to come out every month. ...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 ...

    He shows his flawless acting aptitude as he brings tears to his eyes to convince Oliver that in his anecdote he was the victim and it was essential for the boy to be hanged. This would have raised awareness that the law can be lied to and those that do can get away with it.

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

    His recent re-uniting with Sykes and his friend Toby Crackit left him with the threat of death or a record of crime forever.

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

    The language Dickens uses in this phrase implies a certain reluctance to do this. He does this by highlighting the task Oliver has before him, even though the reader already knows what Oliver has to do. The last few words are structured in a way that implies destiny.

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

    He is also known as 'the Artful Dodger', he is the best pick pocket that works for Fagin and is the person who introduces Oliver to the gang of thieves at Saffron Hill. Dickens tries to use this character to show how bad crime can be for kids.

  1. How effectively does Charles Dickens use language to portray 19th century London society in ...

    The adjectives, 'quiet, shady,' have been used to show the serene atmosphere that prevailed over the area in which Mr. Brownlow stayed. The house in which Mr. Brownlow stayed in was, in Oliver's words, described appropriately as being, 'so quiet and neat, and orderly, everybody so kind and gentle.'

  2. THROUGH AN EXPLORATION OF THE WAYS THAT DICKENS PRESENTS OLIVER TWIST, DISCUSS WHAT DICKENS ...

    She only gave the children enough money to buy what she thought was a suitable diet. She deprives the children of their rights and uses the money for her own luxuries. It was of no surprise that this system of farming would leave no child fit and healthy, and Dickens outlines this by Oliver's physical appearance.

  1. How effectively does Charles Dickens use language to portray 19th century London society in ...

    .I wish he could have witnessed the horrible avidity with which he tore the bits asunder with all the ferocity of a famine." Dickens graphic language here, effectively and vividly describes the intensity of his hunger, and the slow torture, which had been imposed upon him.

  2. How effectively does Oliver Twist represent the 19th century orphans in the novel 'Oliver ...

    These helpless infants "rolled about the floor all day". This shows the complete lack of humanity of those in charge. They were never ever given the slightest bit of attention or affection and they grew up and starved not only physical sustenance but also for love.

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