The Disadvantages of Capitalism and Materialism
The novel “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens and the suggestive pamphlet “A Modest Proposal” by Dr. Jonathan Swift both show very smart and powerful controlling parties of the poor. They take advantage of them to make money for themselves by having materialistic and capitalist characteristics. The capitalist Dr. Swift talks about the value of the bodies he is trying to sell. He says “the body of a plump girl of fifteen – was sold to the prime minister of state – at four hundred pounds.” (par.19) this being compared “when the boy is worth hundreds of pounds”(233) both show capitalism. They like to keep the valuables at high prices so they can make a lot of money. While also taking advantage of the misfortunate poor people because Oliver is worth a lot of money to Sikes, and the dead bodies are valuable to Dr. Swift. Oliver and the rest of the poor people are thought of as materials to the controlling parties, meaning that they are “despised by all, pitied by none” (26). Swift says, “that these children are the seldom fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages” (par10). He is trying to say that the kids shouldn’t be materials and they should be regarded as seldom fruits, but the savages want them for their worth making them materialistic. Some definitions for Capitalism say it’s when the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. In Oliver’s case they he stays poor and has to go to a school for “juvenile defenders” (27), and in Swifts opinion they grow up and “turn thieves for want of work.”(par.1) These both relate to the capitalist societies in which they have no chance to be wealthy and they stay at the bottom of the food chain. Capitalist leaders are shown here to take the concept of money as the only important thing. Swift says “provided in some sort by the publick, to their annual profit instead of their expense” (par27). This is compared to when Oliver is in...
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