I want to present the novel “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens. It was published in 1837. Referring to the kind of book you can say that it is a children’s story, a detective story or a novel of social protest. At first I want to say something about the author.
1. Charles Dickens: A Brief Biography
Charles Dickens, the English novelist, is considered the greatest one of the Victorian period. In his works Dickens has attacked social evils and injustice. This he had experienced in his own youth, especially when he was forced to end school in early teens and work in a factory. Dickens's characters, such as the cruel Ebenezer Scrooge of the famous “Christmas Story” fascinated generations.
Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. His family moved very often because of the fathers employments. Dickens's family was a middle class one; however, his father had difficult time managing money. His extravagant spending habits brought the family to a financial disaster and in 1824 John Dickens was imprisoned for debts. Charles was the eldest of the Dickens’s children. As his father was in prison, he had to leave school to work in a shoe-dye factory. (It’s a factor where leather for shoes is dyed [gefärbt] ).During this time Dickens lived alone in a house in North London where the living conditions were very terrible. These experiences influenced him very much in his future writing. In 1833 Dickens began to write short stories and essays for periodicals. Some of these stories were published in Pickwick Papers in 1836. Within several months Dickens became internationally popular. He resigned from his position as a newspaper reporter and became an editor of a monthly magazine entitled “Bentley's Miscellany”. Dickens's career continued for the next several years. “Oliver Twist” was serialized in “Bentley's Miscellany” beginning in 1837. In the years from 1850 to 1865 he wrote his most famous works like “Hard Times” (1854), “A Tale of Two Cities” (1859), “Great Expectations” (1860-61), “Little Dorrit” and others. During these times Dickens had several love affairs and unhappy marriages which influenced his writing. In 1869 his health began to decline. He died suddenly at home on June 9, 1870 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, London.
Now I want to say something about the Plot of “Oliver Twist”
2. Plot and Structure
Exposition: The exposition starts with Oliver Twist born into a life of poverty and misfortune, in a workhouse in England in 1830. His mother, whose name no one knows, is found on the street and dies just after Oliver’s birth. Nobody knows anything about his father. Rising action: After Oliver’s birth a Rising Action takes place : Oliver spends the first nine years of his life in a badly run home for young orphans (foster home). There he is in the care of a woman named Mrs. Mann and is brought up with little food and few comforts. Around the time of the orphan’s ninth birthday, Mr Bumble, a parish beadle, (person who is responsible for running a foster home) removes Oliver from the orphan’s home and puts him to a workhouse for adults where he stays for six months. There some boys bully Oliver to ask for more food during a meal. This has been enough for Mr.Bumble so he offers five pounds to any person who wishes to take on the boy as an apprentice. Mr. Sowerberry a local undertaker takes Oliver into his service. While working for the undertaker, Oliver has to suffer torments through Noah Claypole, a charity boy and fellow apprentice. Noah makes humiliating comments about Oliver’s mother and therefore Oliver attacks him. Mrs. Sowerberry, who dislikes Oliver, punishes him. That night he runs away and travels towards London. During his journey to London, Oliver, starved and exhausted, meets Jack Dawkins, who is also known as the Artful Dodger. Dawkins gives Oliver something to eat and promises to give him shelter. Oliver follows Dawkins and it turns out that he can stay...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document