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Oliver Twist Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By lilmeister34
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Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist was written and published during the Victorian era, 1838. Dickens’ use of language successfully denotes contextual issues and narrative concepts, an important social commentator who used fiction effectively to highlight the contextual issues of society and class and criminality. The narrative techniques Dickens uses, unified with the context in which he wrote the novel, exemplify his ideas throughout the text. The use of good literature adds to an audience’s understanding of life during those times. It embodies thought and feeling on matters of human importance.

Dickens uses the characters and situations in the novel to make a deliberate statement of his personal views of society and class about the poor laws and the criminal system. Society in Oliver Twist is hugely divided. While the upper classes live in their comfortable large houses, the lower class are seen to lead wretched lives, driven to crime by hunger and deprivation. At times Dickens steps out of the novel and addresses the reader directly using indirect speech. The opening of the book, the detached narrator impresses upon the reader that Oliver was only seen as a burden upon the parish, and also highlights the injustice of falling into a predestined social class.
“The parish authorities resolved that Oliver should be ‘farmed’... be despatched to a branch workhouse where juvenile offenders against the poor-laws…
‘. He uses shifting narrative voice throughout Oliver Twist to provoke and discern the reader, providing the reader with an insight of the conditions.

Throughout the novel Dickens shows and comments on the effects the poor laws have on the poor, who have no way of redeeming themselves from unending misery and death except by running away and turning criminal by falling into the hands of the underworld. Dickens has used this novel to unveil the theme of…...

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