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Irony Of Dickens In Oliver Twi

1056 words - 4 pages

The Irony of Dickens In Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, a boy named Oliver lives his strange life in Fagin's pickpocket street gang, and workhouses. Through his life he has people and groups of people who both help and deceive him. Charles Dickens uses a technique known as ironic reversal of values to make a profound effect in the way the novel is perceived. That is, characters with the responsibility to aid Oliver don't, those expected to treat Oliver harshly do the opposite, and characters in the upper class fall to poverty while those in poverty become the upper class.Oliver's life begins in a workhouse, when in less than a year he is transferred to a private workhouse asylum. There he found poor conditions and poor nutrition. Some of the children who lived with Oliver died due to systematic starvation: Unfortunately for the experimental philosophy of the female to whose protecting care Oliver Twist was delivered over, a similar result usually attended to the operation of her system; for at the very moment when a child had contrived to exist upon the smallest possible portion of the weakest possible food it did perversely happen in eight and a half cases out of ten, either that it sickened from want and cold, or fell into the fire from neglect, or got half-smothered by accident, in any one of which cases the miserable little being was usually summoned into another world, and there gathered to the fathers it had never known in this.Due to the fact that Oliver lived with the people who were supposed to take care of him he approached the line of starvation. The woman in charge would feed the children only enough food to keep them barely alive. She did this so she could keep the left over money meant for food to herself, while also providing a form of population control for the paupers. If any child asked for more gruel they were punished severely. "For a week after…asking for more, Oliver remained a close prisoner to the dark and solitary room." Oliver's life in the workhouse was far from humane and the people who took care of him wanted it that way. Soon after Oliver's stint at the workhouse he becomes a member of a pickpocket gang. The gang takes Oliver in rather that taking advantage of him, and for the first time in a long time Oliver gets something more that gruel to eat: The latter part of this speech was hailed by a boisterous shout from all the hopeful pupils of the merry old gentlemen. In the midst of which they went to supper.Oliver ate his share, and the Jew then mixed him a glass of hot gin-and-water, telling him that he must drink it off directly because another man wanted the tumbler.Oliver got to eat more of a better quality of food and he is also treated better when he is with the gang than when he is in the workhouse. He does not have to worry about being punished for innocent...

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