Dickens presents Oliver Twist

‘For a long time after he was ushered into this world of sorrow and trouble, by the parish surgeon, it remained a matter of considerable doubt weather the child would survive to bear any name at all;’ This highlights what Dickens thought about the world that the young child had entered into, a world of sorrow and trouble not of happiness. Once we continue further into the novel we experience through the eyes of the young boy named Oliver Twist what society was like in the 1830’s and why Dickens thought so low of it.

Oliver Twist is the central character in the book; he invokes sympathy from the readers continually throughout the novel. Oliver is generally a passive character throughout the novel apart from a few incidents when he acts, but severely suffers the consequences. Dickens sets the scene with a young boy, vulnerable and defenceless and makes him the poorest of the poor to really satirise that way in which those of a higher class treated the poor in the 1830’s and how the poor law made no significant difference.

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Dickens himself in his own life experienced quite a few inhumane and corrupt proceedings while working for the newspaper, writing about the courts. He had seen many people punished, fined, killed for the one and only crime they had committed, being poor. Dickens had previously been sent to debtors prison along with his family because his fathers company had been made bankrupt. Dickens was only a young boy at this time but did experience the ways in which the poor were treated.

He was separated from his family and only reunited with them when a friend of the family leant them the money, so they could get of debt. This is why I think Dickens felt so sorry and pitied the poor for he himself knew what it was like to be looked down upon and treated unjustly because of your financial status. It is implied in the first chapter that the workhouse was no place for any child to be born in. ‘Although I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in a workhouse is in itself the most fortunate and enviable circumstance that can possibly befall a human,’

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