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

How suitably does Charles Dickens portrays the misery of the 19th century orphans in his well known novel "Oliver Twist" ?

Extracts from this document...


Oliver Twist Q.1 How suitably does Charles Dickens portrays the misery of the 19th century orphans in his well known novel "Oliver Twist" ? Oliver Twist is one of the most popular books written by Charles Dickens ,who gives us a deep insight into the life in Victorian England in the 1830 s . He portrays the ill treatment given to the children and how they are taken advantage because of their childhood innocence . It is very difficult to live as an orphan because we will have to face a lot of hardships and difficulties in our lives . In the 19th century orphans were physically and verbally abused . They were not shown any respect as they were orphans . This shows how narrow minded people were .The people were never considerate towards the orphans and they did not really understand what troubles and consequences the orphans were going through . With the introduction of the Industrial Revolution everything changed completely. London Society was changed to a modernized one. The children had to work in these factories in unhygienic conditions. In 1834 a poor law act was passed to provide relief for those children who worked in the factories for lower wages . The government then decided to give the money to the workhouse where the orphans were taken care of. The workhouse authorities would use the money for their own needs. Dickens as a child had to face a lot of difficulties and hardships in his life .his unhappy experiences tormented him for the rest of his life . Dickens was a victim of child labour.. This novel also shows us that the orphans suffered the cruelty of hypocritical workhouse officials as well as hard core criminals. Through Dickens language we can clearly imagine the ill treatment shown to these orphans .Dickens uses this novel to arouse our sympathy for the orphans and shows the reader the misery of the orphans . ...read more.


This paragraph is about Fagin's den. The author has described Fagin's den.very effectively which depicts us the unhygienic conditions the orphans lived in . The orphans were persuaded to commit crime and they were taken advantage of their childhood .Even in the criminal world the conditions are as worse as in the workhouse . "a dirtier or more wretched place he had ever seen . The streets were narrow and muddy and the air was impregnated with filthy odours" This is atypical setting of the underworld. Phrases like"filthy odours," "streets were narrow and muddy" helps the reader to get a clear description of the underworld and we began to imagine how human beings can live in such unhygienic conditions and we began to feel sorry for the orphans. "The walls and the ceiling of the room were perfectly black with age and dirt"- This is a description about the Fagin's den . The environment was unpleasant and the conditions were extremely worse . "several rough beds made of old sacks , were huddled on the floor." .The orphans had no one to support them and in spite of that the society is ill treating them ,harassing them . Dicken also uses language to illustrate the habits of the orphans who were guided by the criminals such as Fagin - "Seated around the table were 4 to 5 boys , none older than Dodger , smoking long pipes , drinking spirits with the middle aged men" - This description is very effective portraying how badly the orphans are guided once left on the streets . The words "long" and "middle aged men"-are literary devices of exaggeration used by Dickens to emphasize on how miserable these orphans were. Dickens language is very effective and it shows us how the children were drawn up into the world of crime "crime like death is not confined to the old and the writhered one . ...read more.


alley and gutters are mine " the language used is very effective and arouses our sympathy not only for Nancy but for all the orphans. Orphans had their lives full of misery and never received any kindness " Lady ; cried the girl sinking on her knees, "dear, sweet, angel lady, you are the first that ever blessed me with such words as these and if I had heard them years ago they might have turned me form a life of sin and sorrow but it is too late too late." There is a contrast between Nancy and Rose . Rose was a young good and a beautiful lady who had home friends other admirers and everything to fill in. Rose was understanding because she had a proper bringing .The words "sin and sorrow" emphasizes on the misery faced by the orphans and we began to understand the feelings of the orphans. . The author , Charles Dickens gives me a vivid picture of the life of the orphans in the 19 th century . I don't agree with the unhygienic conditions in which the orphans are kept. The London Society does not show any compassion towards the orphans . From this novel I have understood that orphans in the 19 the century were treated as animals. The orphans are deprived of basic necessities . I have also noticed that the orphans are mentally very strong as they have the courage to withstand the sorrow. The 19th century orphans were treated differently from 21 st century orphans, who are not deprived of the basic necessities that is food and shelter . they are also shown respect, compassion and love. The orphanages in the 21 st century are properly maintained and orphans live in hygienic conditions.the language in Oliver Twist has beautifully portrayed the misery of orphans. I think Charles has done a successful in punching the message that we should understand their feelings and what troubles they are facing Done by: Amit Mukhi 1 ...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. Two chapters of "Oliver Twist" examine how Charles Dickens criticises Victorian society for its ...

    They didn't do anything to heal him after his traumatic childhood at the hands of Mrs. Mann. If anything they treated him even more appallingly. Dickens's use of emotive language in this chapter is for much the same purpose as in the last chapter.

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

    deserves when he eventually dies in a dramatic scene at the end which can be scene as a payment for his crimes over the years. One character used by Dickens to show how crime affects children at a young age is Jack Dawkins.

  1. Oliver Twist

    Bill gets frustrated when he doesn't get the information he needs. He asks a lot of questions showing fear and panic. Bill is quite shocked when Charley says he's not frightened of him. He gets very aggressive and fights with Charley when Charley tries to attack him.


    Now the master was a fat and healthy man. Oliver in the novel is always seen alongside with fat, well fed, healthy men and women. This produces a lot of imagery for the reader. Oliver is continually described as little, thin, small and we because Dickens always puts Oliver alongside people in a contrasting body appearance it makes the

  1. Consider the presentation of bullying within the novel, Oliver Twist, and how Dickens emphasises ...

    Sikes is apprehensive to what may be on the other side. By using this type of text, Dickens builds up speed, tension and anticipation for the reader. Dickens does this again when describing in detail when 'he opened it softly 'lifting a heavy table against it' double locked the door.'

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

    the atmosphere, and form it to suit his own needs, which shows a quality of good that is demonstrated only by him. Oliver escapes in a similar manner. "He [Oliver] only cried bitterly all day; and when the long, dismal night came on, spread his little hands before his eyes

  1. Analyse the presentation of Bill Sykes in the novel `Oliver Twist`. You should refer ...

    Nancy murder is the pivotal event in Sykes meagre life. Once he decides to go through with this dreadful act he is forever lost. He must subconsciously no that this action will break all chances of his and Fagin continued residence in London.

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

    The orphans were abused mentally as well as physically. They were very sensitive and couldn't fight back as they were kept in a bad condition and as they were children they were weak and couldn't fight physically or mentally. The orphans are abused and labeled "un-grateful, mur-de-rous, hor-rid-villian".

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