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Oliver Twist Essay

836 words - 3 pages

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist provides insight into the experience of the poor in 1830s England. Beneath the novel's humor and dramatic plot runs an undertone of bitter criticism of the Victorian middle class's attitudes toward the poor. Dickens's Oliver Twist very vividly critisizes the legal system, workhouses, and middle class moral values and marriage practices of 1830s England. Basic Situation: Oliver Twist is born a sickly infant in a workhouse. His birth is attended by the parish surgeon and a drunken nurse. His mother kisses his forehead and dies, and the nurse announces that Oliver's mother was found lying in the streets the night before. The surgeon notices that she is not wearing a wedding ring. Oliver is then placed into a very undesirable situation as a poor, homeless, helpless, motherless orphan. The first few years of his life offer nothing more than a life of many trails and little to no triumph. The entire story of Oliver Twist revolves around his mysterious identity. Who is Oliver Twist? Complication: The complication Of Oliver's life was that he didn't know who he was and he had no place in society. From birth he was thrown from one bad situation into another. He worked in a workhouse where he was treated badly and barely feed. After working there for a while, still a child, he started work with and undertaker who also treated him badly and beat him spiractically. When Oliver ran away from the undertaker, he fell into the hands of some low life thieves, who tired to persuade him into a life of crime. "Fagin assures him that he has won Oliver over in spirit, but he wants Oliver to take part in a serious crime in order to firmly seal the boy in his power". (Dickens, Chp. 18) Climax: Although temptation is all around him, Oliver does not want to participate in a life of crime. On his first day as a thief Oliver is arrested but not charged The person who accused him of stealing, Mr. Brownlow takes Oliver into his home and nurses him back to health because Oliver had fallen ill during the trail. While living with Mr. Brownlow, Oliver sees a picture of a young woman who has a very dramatic affect on him. "A portrait of a young woman catches Oliver's eye. It seems to affect him so much; that Mrs. Bedwin fears the emotion will wear him out". (Dickens; chp.10) Shortly after this...

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