I do not think there is another author who can write such vigorously descriptive characters, whether they are good or evil. Charles Dickens was truly gifted in this art. Oliver Twist is a character that Charles Dickens used to show the "blinded world" of human suffering. The workhouse, poverty, street children, illegitimate children, women who had babes without being married, the sick, and the Churches discrimination against the out-cast and unfortunate people. All these Dickens weaved into his stories in order to teach the public of "the least of these." I do not believe Dickens taught out of Christian duty. I do believe he taught out of his hearts conscience and from his own experiences. Oliver Twist is a well-known story, but the book is not as widely read as one would imagine. The novel has all the vivid storytelling and unimpeachable literary skill that Dickens brings to all his novels, but there's also a raw, gritty quality.
Oliver Twist was enormously influential in bringing to light the atrocious treatment of paupers and orphans in Dickens's time. The novel is not only a brilliant work of art but also a tremendously important document in social history.
Oliver is born in a workhouse in the first half of the nineteenth century. His mother dies during his birth, and he is sent to an orphanage (where he is poorly treated). Along with the other orphans, Oliver is regularly beaten and poorly fed. In a famous episode, he walks up to the the stern authoritarian, Mr. Bumble, and asks for more. For this impertinence, he is put out of the workhouse. He then runs away from the family who take him in. He wants to find his fortune in London. Instead, he falls in with a boy called Jack Dawkins, who is part of a child gang of thieves--run by Fagin.
Oliver is brought into the gang and trained as a pickpocket. When he goes out on his first job, he runs away and is nearly sent to prison. However, the kindness of the person who was robbed, saves him from the...
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