Oliver Twist Critical Essay

Topics: Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Oliver! Pages: 3 (1753 words) Published: November 3, 2014

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Oliver Twist Critical essay
Question: How does Charles Dickens represent the fate of the individual in the Victorian Era? A critical analysis of the novel ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens clearly suggests that Dickens represents the fate of the individual in the Victorian era. Being written in the Victorian era, Dickens focusses on themes relevant to this era. These themes include “the moving depiction of the evils of homelessness and its consequences”, “the powerlessness of children”, “greed”, “criminality” and “the limits of justice”. Dickens uses a variety of literary devices to effectively convey these ideas and through the use of this, it positions the audience to understand through the novel the fate of the individual in the Victorian Era. Justice and its variant form are very important in Oliver Twist and is a theme used by dickens to represent fate of certain individuals in the Victorian era. By the end of the novel, almost all characters face justice, the good characters living happily and the bad characters suffering. Oliver, Rose and just about all the other characters live happily while the bad and evil character Fagin and Sikes both get hanged. The reader is already wary of the justice system because of how close Oliver becomes to being an innocent victim of it. Thus despite Dickens making sure the good characters have happiness and the bad characters receive the punishment they deserve, Dickens clearly makes sure that it is not the usual story where the good guys end happily while the bad guys suffer. Such is the result of Nancy’s death when she gets killed by Sikes after trying to save Oliver from the hands of Fagin and Sikes and return him to Mr Brownlow. Symbolism plays a major part in expressing this theme. Nancy’s decision to meet Brownlow and Rose on London Bridge reveals the symbolic aspect of this bridge in Oliver Twist. Bulls- eye, Sikes’s dog is a symbolic element of the character of Sikes, displaying...
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