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Oliver Twist - Board Scene

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Introduction

How does Charles Dickens Treat Poverty In the Board Scenes Chapters Two and Three? "Oliver Twist" is a novel written by Charles Dickens in the 1830s, Victorian times, it was so famous that even Queen Victoria herself read it. It tells the story of a boy named Oliver Twist, as it is suggested by the title. Many themes are covered, the most evident being poverty, throughout the novel the reader is shown what conditions certain people were in Victorian times. In this essay I will be concentrating on a certain part of the novel, the board scene in chapter two and three. I am focusing on this certain part of "Oliver Twist" as it shows the greatest examples of class division and wealth, which are the most important and main themes of the novel. Dickens uses characters to aid the readers' understanding of the attitudes of life in that current time. Dickens extensive use of language and metaphors make for an interesting and occasionally comical read. The boardroom represents the difference in class and wealth and demonstrates to a high level the many problems of the time. ...read more.

Middle

A way in which Charles Dickens characterises, or better said stereotypes rich people, is that they are mostly fat representing wealth; poor people are depicted by Charles Dickens as skinny. The boardroom is extremely unappealing to a nine year old, as it has nothing to grab the child's attention to seek comfort within. The gentlemen ask Oliver direct and stern questions without seeking to comfort him in any way, they also used advanced language for a child of his age and expect him to know the meaning of them, even though he hasn't had an education, and call him a fool if he does not "'listen to me. You know you' re an orphan, I suppose?' 'What's that, sir?' inquired poor Oliver. 'The boy is a fool - I thought he was,'" The second board scene is quite similar to the first. As I mentioned before after Oliver commits his "crime" he is placed in a dark room for some time and then called to the board as a chimney sweep wishes to make him his apprentice. This board scene is not much different to the first as Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dickens's use of language is excellent and compelling, and at times even comical. He uses a lot of sarcasm especially when talking about the rich people; he calls them gentlemen even when they are starving children to death. Charles Dickens uses exaggeration a lot and uses it in combination with irony to create compelling descriptions "he gave his jaw a sharp wrench, by way of gentle reminder that he was not his own master". Dickens also changes the way certain characters speak to each other; Mr. Bumble speaks with utmost respect to the gentlemen but treats Oliver worse than an animal "'Now, Oliver, my dear...in a low voice 'Mind what I told you, you young rascal'". Mr. Bumble shows attitude of deceit and a fake fa�ade when it best suits him. The board scenes in chapter two and three are excellent examples of the hardship that the lower class had to endure at the time. Dickens uses compelling vocabulary but sometimes uses quite satire humour. Poverty is reflected greatly in these two chapters and demonstrates that if you were poor at the time you had no choice over your future decisions. I believe the novel has become a great cultural part of England and I think it encouraged the reform into a more civilised world. ...read more.

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