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oliver twist

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Oliver Twist Oliver Twist is one of the most popular novels ever written to this day, despite it being written over 200 years ago. Its author Charles Dickens is renowned for his fantastic use of techniques. These techniques range from basic similes and metaphors to a brilliant use of imagery and personification/anthropomorphism. The story is about a young vulnerable boy who is orphaned, and is forced to live in a workhouse. However the conditions there are appalling, as they are fed little more than gruel and live in disease and dysentery while the governors and owners are fine dining right before the children's eyes everyday. Nevertheless Oliver revolts against this, which results in him being sold to a funeral parlour. His life then goes from bad to worse as a wicked worker at the parlour continuously insulted the memory of Oliver's dead mother. At last Oliver escapes from the funeral parlour as he embarks on his great journey to London where he hoped to find happiness and good fortune. But is this necessarily the case? So why is the novel still so loved and one of the greatest novels ever written 200 years on? It is remembered so well partly because of its fantastic storyline, which makes the reader want to read on. But the main reason is that Dickens cleverly reflected the life of poverty in the 19th century/ Victorian era, the evils of the Poor Houses and the crime and corruption that existed in London at that time. ...read more.


In a frying-pan, which was on the fire, and which was secured to the mantelshelf by a string, some sausages were cooking; and standing over them, with a toasting-fork in his hand, was a very old shrivelled Jew, whose villainous-looking and repulsive face was obscured by a quantity of matted red hair. He was dressed in a greasy flannel gown, with his throat bare; and seemed to be dividing his attention between the frying-pan and the clothes-horse, over which a great number of silk handkerchiefs were hanging." This passage immediately depicts a stereotypical villain. Firstly Dickens has described him as "repulsive", "very old and shrivelled", "obscured face" and "dressed in a greasy flannel gown". This is very stereotypical for a villain. Dickens also says that he has "matted red hair" and "with a toasting fork in his hand" and is standing in front of the fire. This is often exactly how the devil is depicted. The toasting fork acting as a Trident, the devil often described with red hair and the fire acting as 'Hell'. Another clever point that Dickens makes is he says that Fagin is a "shrivelled Jew". In the 19th century are society was much more racist and we saw Jews to be inferior to us, so naturally people would of seen this as even more of a reason for Fagin to be evil. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why we still remember the book so well today because we look back to how are society was and how we have developed. ...read more.


Dickens describes so many emotions in that one sentence and makes you feel so sympathetic for Oliver. He says that Oliver has 'terror in his looks'. This is a very strong choice of word as it means 'intense fear' but it really shows what is happening. All of this makes the chase even more memorable as Oliver has been chased, hit, betrayed, hurt and been left all alone but he didn't do anything. However this chase seen is another perfect melodramatic example as Dickens so cleverly exaggerates this scene. He describes it almost as if it were some kind of battle, as people would not literally chase after this tiny little boy like flocks of geese and begin to hit Oliver. This exaggeration of the chase builds up this enormous sentimentality for Oliver which readers would have loved in the 19th century. Oliver Twist is obviously one of the greatest novels written. Dickens manages to ensure that Oliver's early adventures in London are truly memorable through a gripping fast moving storyline, the creation of the unique larger than life characters of Fagin, Artful Dodger and Mr Fang and the vivid critical descriptions of life in London. In addition using a melodramatic style Dickens was and is able to evoke emotions within his reader/audience. At the time that Dickens wrote Oliver Twist part of the impact of Oliver's adventures in London would have been the social relevance of the poverty and crime in London. Today it could be argued that it serves as a reminder of what life used to be like in London in Victorian times and that from a charitable and compassionate viewpoint society has moved on. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...read more.

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    The beginning itself highlights the 'class' into which Oliver was born. There is also an appropriate comparison made to the birth of a rich man, 'surrounded by careful grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses and doctors of profound wisdom,' while Oliver was born in the presence of 'a pauper, old woman,' and 'a parish surgeon.'


    'The surgeon leant over the body, and raised the left hand. 'The old story' he said, shaking his head 'no wedding ring I see. Ah! Good night!'' This meant that Oliver was labelled a legitimate child, a child born by parents out of wedlock.

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