Oliver Twist

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Oliver Twist

        Charles Dickens was taken out of school in London as a result of his family poverty, he was then put to work in a filthy warehouse where he had to stick labels on bottles of boot black. He returned to school for a short time, but he couldn’t bare to take about his experience. Many of his ideas about social conscience probably stem from this episode in his life. Charles dickens was born into times which saw great changes in people’s lifestyles. There were the effects of industrialisation, and the French revolution. Oliver twist was not published in one novel, but in episodes of monthly installments in a magazine called Bentley’s Miscellany. One of Charles Dickens main themes in Oliver Twist is childhood; a way he describes childhood is by using irony and sarcasm to get his point across. The key incidents that show childhood are in the first three chapters of the novel so those are the chapters which I will be focusing on for this essay. Some of the areas I will write about are Oliver’s mistreatment from birth, how Oliver and other children are mistreated by Mrs. Mann, Oliver in the work house and how Dickens uses didactic moralising.

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        Oliver was born into poverty; Dickens traces the subsequent course of his life.


        The novel opens in a workhouse at Oliver’s birth- Dickens shows right from the start the uncaring attitudes of the authorities to the poor in general, for example Oliver survives by luck not because of the care he receives. Oliver’s mother would have been seen as an outcast, because she was not marries, and this may be a reason she was given such bad care. Although as the surgeons reference to ‘the cold story’ suggest, they were not uncommon.

        Treatment of young children at ...

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