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GCSE: Oliver Twist

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  1. How are the men in the two stories, 'The Withered Arm' and 'Sweat', portrayed? How far does this portrayal reflect the contexts in which the stories were written?

    Evidence of this is on page 27. Farmer Lodge heightens with pride when he makes his first public appearance with his bride Gertrude. Farmer Lodge was aware beforehand that people would be fixated on Gertrude, and this is shown on page 27 when he said "O yes. You must expect to be stared at just at first, my pretty Gertrude". Appearances seem to be important to Farmer Lodge, because his first relationship, or better yet his affair with Rhoda happened when Rhoda was at the tender age of seventeen.

    • Word count: 1967
  2. Two chapters of "Oliver Twist" examine how Charles Dickens criticises Victorian society for its hypocrisy and the way in which it allowed poverty-stricken children, like Oliver, to be the victims of adult cruelty, neglect and exploitation.

    Firstly, I am going to concentrate on the character of Mrs. Mann, within this extract. Mrs. Mann is Oliver's "foster mother", along with many other young children. She does not treat the children well, and as such, when Mr. Bumble calls "he [Oliver] was keeping it [his ninth birthday] in the coal cellar with a select party of two other gentlemen, who, after participating in a sound thrashing, had been locked up for presuming to be hungry." This explains to us that Mrs.

    • Word count: 2567
  3. How does Charles Dickens expose Victorian society's awful treatment of the poor?

    (The quote goes on to say that he turned around when the woman spoke) Dickens ridicules the workhouse medical staff a little because the midwife is described as a: 'pauper old woman who was rather misty' The woman is rather misty because she has been drinking an 'unwonted allowance of beer' Dickens again goes on to emphasise this point on the next page where the woman 'hastily deposits in her pocket the green glass bottle' Dickens also adds humour to the situation when he writes that Oliver would have 'certainly died' if he had been surrounded by 'doctors' 'experienced nurses'

    • Word count: 2546
  4. How effectively does Dickens use language to portray the misery of orphans in the novel 'Oliver Twist'?

    At that time in the 19th century when there was demand for labour, children were often made to work under miserable conditions with little or no wages. Orphans were treated very badly and were left to the mercy of their caretakers who were not even bothered about them. Dickens himself was exposed to such hardships in a young age, in his novels he usually writes about the troubles faced by the middle and lower class people of society. In this novel he brings to life the troubles and horrible hardships faced by the orphans of the 19th century.

    • Word count: 3765
  5. Charles Dickens uses Oliver Twist to make social comments on attitudes towards crime and poverty in 19th century England. With particular reference to chapters one and two show how he achieves this.

    At this time Dickens was writing 'Pickwick' as well as 'Oliver Twist'. 'Oliver Twist' was being written for Bentley's Miscellany as a monthly serial, possibly making some of his writing a rushed attempt. This means that 'Oliver Twist' had some of Dickens's best writing and some of his worst. In the Novel characters in 'Oliver Twist' are used by Charles Dickens to present society in a variety of ways and to show his views on crime and poverty in 19th century England.

    • Word count: 3704
  6. The novel Oliver Twist was written in 1867 by Charles Dickens, a social reformer and also a philanthropist.

    Sikes is manipulative and he knows what he is capable of. 'Don't speak to me it's not safe.' When we first meet Bill, Dickens describes him as a 'stoutly built fellow of 35' with a 'bulky pair of legs and large swelling carves.' This automatically gives the reader an impression of Bill Sikes power. It looks as if he intimidates people with his body size, he not only uses his body but his eyes also give a sense of extortion 'two scowling eyes'.

    • Word count: 1826
  7. Charles Dickens wrote the novel "Oliver Twist" as a way of expressing his views on how the rich treated the poor, and how he felt about the laws regarding the poor.

    "If he could have known...perhaps he would have cried the louder." He was born into a grim workhouse where he was constantly in a "hungry and destitute situation". The helpless infants are made to use the "treadmill" as punishment, and Oliver is frequently locked in the "coal-cellar". Here Dickens uses over exaggerated descriptions to show the treatment of the children, to get the message clear to the public so that they are able to get an idea of the reality. Poor children are victims of the authorities. They have no control over what happens to them.

    • Word count: 1270
  8. Explore how Dickens depicts the evil aspects of human nature with particular reference to two characters. Oliver Twist.

    Oliver availed himself of the kind permission, and fell to the floor in a fainting fit." Oliver is obviously in some distress, which Mr Fang is unable to see and he really doesn't care about Oliver. Charles Dickens is portraying his concerns of the corruption of law through people who have power, such as the magistrates and Bumble, and that is why I have chosen Bumble to show how Dickens depicts him. Charles Dickens also portrays the personalities of his characters through their name; he does this with various characters. The name Mr Fang may suggest aspects of evil and it does, so Charles Dickens tries to portray the personality of a character through their name, in some cases.

    • Word count: 2090
  9. How effectively does Charles Dickens use language to portray 19th century London society in his novel Oliver Twist?

    .He faces malice of state institutions as well as the malice of violent criminals .The novel Oliver Twist is Charles Dickens heart felt outcry against those who forced the orphans into the under world. Oliver represents the orphans and expresses their feelings in a subtle and touching manner, evident through the story and through the events encountered in his life. Oliver Twist was mainly written by Charles Dickens to underline the cruelty that children suffered at the hands of society.

    • Word count: 4873
  10. Oliver Twist - Explore how Dickens depicts the evil aspects of human nature with particular reference to the two characters Sikes and Fagin and the social conditions in which they live.

    From what I have read, Fagin's character to me seems to be very mysterious. His actions aren't very pleasant. When he meets stronger men, he fawns over them. He has a habit of calling people "my dear" and when he plots against the weak, he is ruthless and greedy. The fact that he is called the Jew would to some indicate that he was greedy and unsympathetic. But to me however Fagin's Jewishness means something else - that he has been a victim of prejudice. I feel some sympathy for Fagin because he's just making a living the best way he can.

    • Word count: 1022
  11. How effectively does Charles Dickens use language to portray 19th century London society in his novel, 'Oliver Twist'?

    This was also a popular way of drawing the reader's attention and sympathy to the character and perhaps we might feel the same way about Dickens because the character in the novel shared the same experiences as Dickens himself, which makes his novels more of autobiographies than anything else. In his novels we can also distinguish people who have played a role in his own life. We can compare his own life to the life that David Copperfield led or Mr.

    • Word count: 7230
  12. Explore the ways in which human suffering is portrayed in Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' and James Watson's 'Talking in Whispers'. How do the writers create sympathy for the characters of Andres Larreta and Oliver Twist?

    Oliver experiences abuse at the workhouse. He was very poor and had little food, which made him hungry. He had to work to stay alive. Although his work only earned him just about enough to survive. "The hungry and destitute situation of the infant orphan was duly reported by the workhouse authorities." The author Charles Dickens states that Oliver is hungry and is in a poor situation. Another instance of physical suffering Oliver experiences, is the beating he receives after he has a fight with Noah. "Oliver's clothes had been torn in the beating he had received; his face was bruised and scratched; and his hair scattered over his forehead."

    • Word count: 4842
  13. How do the authors Charles Dickens, and David Pelzer depict childhood, in the novels Oliver Twist, and 'A Child called it'?

    David's willpower was the only drive he had to help him survive, and in time he learned how to play his mothers mind games to his advantage. By this point Pelzer's mother no longer considered him her son, but an insignificant it, a slave. There are themes to consider when you look at how childhood is depicted. In this essay I will be examining the following 5 themes, which are, status and poverty, family life and lifestyle, attitudes of adults, education and finally, crime.

    • Word count: 1552
  14. "Bonfire of the Vanities:" In Tom Wolfe's depiction of 1980s New York there are no moral values. All his characters are driven by the imperatives of greed and desire. How far do you agree?

    He is a hugely wealthy bond trader who lives on Park Avenue with his wife Judy and daughter Campbell. He is portrayed as being self-centred from the start and a few pages into the book we find he is cheating on his wife. Here we have one of the novel's many immoral characters, and Sherman is not nearly the worst. Although Sherman has been cheating on his wife, he does feel guilt, showing he is not completely amoral. One may argue, however, that he would not have felt guilt if he had not been caught.

    • Word count: 1189
  15. There was definitely more crime in Victorian London then nowadays.

    Dickens portrays a children's gang led by Fagin, to show how confident the pickpockets of London were becoming. But truth was, during this time the average pickpocket was an adult, probably working with two other people. It is most probable that Dickens chose to portray a gang of children pickpockets for the sake of sensationalism. Prostitution was also common at the time of Jack the Ripper, but it was seen as less of a taboo in Victorian times. Even though prostitution was never illegal in Victorian London, it was certainly frowned upon by those of an upper class, though it was thought perfectly acceptable, by Victorian society's double standards for a well to do gentlemen to visit "ladies of the night" in special night-houses.

    • Word count: 669
  16. Was Oliver Cromwell A Hero Or A Villain?

    What man in his right mind would do such a thing? Cromwell did and it brought out his bad side. He starved the Irish. When Cromwell was in Ireland he broke a lot of rules of the war, he was accused of being a 'war criminal'. The rule 'do not kill people, even soldiers, except in battle' was just one of the rules he broke. He robbed the Irish of their food and money. This then resulted in the starvation of the Irish. On Oliver's command he massacred men, women and even children.

    • Word count: 653
  17. The Boy Who Cried to a Wolf

    "But..." William's reply was cut short by the razor sharp shrill tone of his mother. "Don't 'but' me, I know you had something to do with it, now go to your room and when you're ready to apologise for what you've done you'll get your supper." William skulked away mumbling under his breath "I didn't do anything. I hate this family." William stubbornly sat in his room and had no supper that night. William awoke late the next morning, washed and went downstairs for breakfast, Mrs Hallwater was frying eggs and bacon, Williams stomach groaned as he made his way to the table.

    • Word count: 1228
  18. Oliver Twist Charles Dickens

    He becomes apprenticed to Sowerberry, an undertaker. Another apprentice Noah Claypole insults Oliver's dead mother, Oliver attacks him and is cruelly punished by the Sowerberrys. He runs away to London, and in Barnet he meets with a boy thief, Jack Dawkins, "The Artful Dodger", a member of a pickpocket gang run by Fagin, a Jew. Oliver is horrified to see them pick pocket of an old gentleman, Mr Brownlow, at a book stall, runs away, and is captured and taken before a magistrates but the bookstall keeper has seen the true robbers.

    • Word count: 1318
  19. The tale of Oliver Twist follows the fortunes of a poor young orphan boy. Bleasdale's version begins before the child is born, then takes us on his journey through early life.

    "Brownlow's London home will show him as a bachelor," says Thornton. "He is comfortably off and a well educated man. It is more formal with dark colours, but always sophisticated. There should be a contrast between his London home which is somewhere slightly formal, where he can receive guests and his country home which is more mellow and rambling." Fleming and Leeford are well off, but are a little bit down the social scale from Brownlow. The Fleming's house is certainly the home of someone who is comfortably off, but after the discovery that Agnes is pregnant they move out to a cottage which is relatively humble.

    • Word count: 2597
  20. The darkness out there - Character description - Kerry

    Kerry and Sandra meet in the forest. Kerry greets Sandra by frightening her: 'Christ!' she said', 'Kerry Stevens, you stupid so-and-so what d'you want to go and do that for, you give me the fright of my life!' When Kerry and Sandra go to Mrs Rutter's house to help Kerry helps her by cleaning the garden and mowing the grass. We learned about Kerry's ambitions for the future that he wants to become a mechanic, like fixing cars and doing the jobs that get you all dirty: 'I'm leaving' July.

    • Word count: 530
  21. Andover Workhouse Sources Questions

    Source also states that the child was reckless with misery, which the inmates of the Andover workhouse were because families were split up, single mothers were shamed by having to wear a yellow stripe on their uniform, women were indecently assaulted by the master Mr. McDougal and they were so hungry that they were eating rotting flesh and bone marrow from the bones that they were crushing. Source C describes the child in the novel being hit round the head with a ladle by the master and we know that the master in the Andover workhouse would not hesitate to do this because the Andover Workhouse had to be as inhospitable as possible.

    • Word count: 1095
  22. Examine the portrayal of Life On The Streets in Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” and Swindells’ “Stone Cold”

    Oliver was born into homelessness and the workhouse; his mother was an unknown woman in labour who had walked many miles to the workhouse, as there would be a doctor and a nurse there. His mother died in childbirth, making him an orphan with no known relations. He was sent to start out life in the 'baby farm'. In the words of Charles Dickens 'He fell into place at once - a parish child - the orphan of the workhouse - the humble, half starved drudge - to be cuffed and buffeted through the world - despised by all, and pitied by none'.

    • Word count: 3050
  23. ‘The poor were treated more harshly at Andover than in -any other workhouses.’ Do you agree with this interpretation? Explain your answer using the sources and knowledge from your studies.

    In the Andover workhouse children were beaten for bedwetting and some of the inmates food was reduced so McDougal could keep the excess money for himself and his family especially in the 'hungry forties' when food prices were extremely high. Board of Guardians in Andover chose dietary number 3 as shown in source E. It is thought this was chosen on purpose as there had been a mistake there were smaller quantities of bread and vegetables than that originally planned this was done to make the workhouse less eligible.

    • Word count: 1045
  24. Commentary On My Entertaining Piece Of Creative Writing

    This is what I based my research on, picking up well known phrases that he uses, as well as his style of cooking, basically, things he does while cooking, that when pointed out or poked fun at, will be noticed by my audience. Because of this, I believe that the audience will find it interesting to read. I wrote this piece with the idea that if it was to be published, it would done for a charity, such as comic relief..

    • Word count: 1153
  25. Using Chapters I to XVII of Oliver Twist, Discuss the Various Presentations of Deprivation

    Mann, kept most of the money for herself and spent as little as possible on the boys. This resulted in Oliver becoming starved throughout his childhood. "Oliver Twist's ninth birthday found him a pale thin child, somewhat diminutive in stature, and decidedly small in circumference." It was on this day that Mr. Bumble, the parish beadle, came to collect Oliver and take him to the main workhouse. Mrs. Mann is then shown to be a liar, as she states to Mr. Bumble that she often gives the children Daffy, when they are ill, because "(Mrs. Mann) couldn't see 'em suffer before my very eyes, you know, sir."

    • Word count: 1796

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