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How Does the Characterisation of those who Interact with Oliver Affect the Readers Sympathy for him?

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How Does the Characterisation of those who Interact with Oliver Affect the Readers Sympathy for him? I think that the aim of Charles Dickens writing a novel about a poor character like Oliver Twist was to make a point about the people living in the Victorian times, about the rich and how they treated the poor. Dickens wanted the reader to feel sympathy for Oliver and for others that were in his position because of the way they were treated. During the Victorian period poor people were treated as if they didn't matter. The Poor Laws punished the most defenseless and helpless members of the lower class. The old, the sick, and the very young suffered more than the fit and healthy benefited from these laws. Dickens was trying to demonstrate this conflict through the character of Oliver Twist. His story demonstrates the double standards of the middle-class bureaucrats, who treat a small child cruelly while voicing their belief in the Christian virtue of giving charity to the less fortunate. ...read more.


died when she did..." This increases the reader's sympathy for Oliver because he never knew his mother and to hear someone speak out of turn about her makes the reader feel sorry for Oliver and empathise with him. But it is here in the novel that Oliver decides to take action of his situation, not being a push over and loses his temper with Noah, but then Oliver is locked in a cellar where he ceases his opportunity to run away. On his travels towards London, Oliver encounters a lad around the same age as himself named Artful Dodger who takes Oliver to meet an acquaintance of his named Fagin. Fagin is seemingly pleasant towards Oliver, when he first meets him; Fagin greets Oliver as if they were old friends just catching up "We are very glad to see you, Oliver, very." Although Fagin looks as if he is being welcoming to Oliver he actually has an ulterior motive for his amiability, he has intentions for Oliver to join his gang of criminals. ...read more.


After being trialled for a crime he didn't commit, Oliver was taken in by a Mr. Brownlow who kept a roof over his head whilst he was being nursed back to health by his housekeeper Mrs. Bedwin. Mr. Brownlow made sure that Oliver was seen by a doctor and made sure he was fed and watered. "Have you given him any nourishment, Bedwin? Any slops, eh?" Mr. Brownlow's care for Oliver increases our sympathy for him because the short time that he spent with Mr. Brownlow was the happiest Oliver had been, and felt like he belonged to a family. In conclusion I think that Charles Dickens characterisations makes the reader feel sympathy for Oliver because during the Victorian times life was hard for poor people like Oliver, and they didn't get much sympathy they were treated as if they didn't matter. Dickens exaggerates the portrayal of his characters in the novel to increase sympathy for characters like Oliver; there are nice characters that are totally pleasant and don't have a mean bone in their body like Mr Brownlow and in contrast there are mean characters who are really horrible like Bill Sikes. By Tahira Noble-10SP ...read more.

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