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Oliver Twist

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Introduction

Oliver Twist. Charles Dickens was a famous author who lived in the Victorian era of England, he mainly wrote novels to expose how the rich society of Victorian England tried to ignore how the poor citizens were treated. Victorian attitudes to the poor were very biased; they made the poor appear to be bad people who had no intention to work and treated them as such. Dickens however, felt sympathetic towards the poor, a reason for this may be because he grew up in a poor environment and worked in a blacking factory at the age of 12. This part of his childhood also contributed to part of his sympathy towards Oliver Twist and the poor. Oliver Twist was an orphan boy whose mother was found in the street alone, her destination and place of origin were unknown and yet she was pregnant. She was taken in by the workhouse where she managed to give birth to a young boy before instantly passing away. He grew up in the workhouse but was kicked out at the young age of 11 with nowhere to go. ...read more.

Middle

and he is now about to become an orphan! During their time in the workhouse, Oliver and the other residents were not treated fairly. Dickens describes them as poor citizens via hyperbole. "...Twenty or thirty other juvenile offenders against the poor laws." We may feel sympathy towards Oliver because being poor is the only thing he has done, and according to the Victorian attitudes to the poor, it is considered as a crime. He is described as a juvenile offender, but he is only a toddler at the time. The workhouse took no care in Oliver's birthday. Dickens uses pathos to describe how Oliver was treated on his birthday. "It was his ninth birthday and he was keeping it in the cellar." This creates sympathy for the boy because not only did he receive no gift, but he was also serving punishment for being hungry. He was also nine years old at the time, starving a boy at such a young age may have effects on his health condition. Mrs Mann does not treat the children of the workhouse how they should be treated. ...read more.

Conclusion

Additional sympathy is displayed for young Oliver at a point after his birth; his mother was about to die, while he was fighting for his life, and yet the surgeon still has time to stare at fire. "The surgeon had been sitting with his face turned towards the fire: giving the palms of his hands a warm rub alternately" The surgeon is sitting with his face turned away from Oliver, not worrying what could happen while his head is turned or how Oliver's mother is coping. He has more important things to do, like rub his palms together in a critical moment. Sympathy is shown towards Oliver in this section of the novel because he and his mother were both neglected in their time of need. Dickens mainly creates sympathy for Oliver twist by using hyperbole and pathos, along with describing how he was treated in the workhouse. Dickens wanted to change the view on poor people and I think he may have been successful because a lot of people now understand how it feels to be poor although being poor was not his fault. ...read more.

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