Oliver Twist Essay

Submitted By thexcalibur
Words: 812
Pages: 4

Daniel Lang Lang 1
Mrs. Becker
4 January 2013
Oliver Twist Literature is often used to satirize society. Revealing the ills of a social structure often leads to improvement. Charles Dickens depicts the English social issues of the poor in the novel Oliver Twist. Written in 1830, the novel portrays the discrimination toward the poor through the character Oliver Twist. Born in a workhouse, Oliver is sent to a orphanage gets into numerous situations that shapes him as a person throughout the novel. He finds out many things about himself as he journeys on his quest. In the end, he is redeemed, transformed, as a symbol for the English society. Using satire, Dickens wishes to correct in the way the society treats the poor. Journeying through various twists and turns exemplifies a loss of childhood innocence, a search for identity, and the capacity for redemption. Loss of childhood innocence is reflected in the plight of Oliver Twist. Born and orphan, Oliver becomes a victim of the English social structure. In spite of his gentility, Oliver experiences negative and gruesome treatment by adults. His mother had died when she gave birth to him in a workhouse. Oliver says to a bully, Noah, " 'She's dead,' replied Oliver: don't you say anything about her to me!' " (43). It also displays how being an orphan can affect how the society treats them. Noah and other adults think they can bully him because of his unfavorable conditions. Since Oliver has no family, he is totally alone. The author states that, "The boy had no friends to take care for, or to take care for him" (31). This illustrates how he is by himself in the world with no one to care for him. Also, he is vulnerable to the everyone due to his lack of friends and family to support him. Oliver later realizes how lonely he is and his social status. Lang 1 Oliver's identity changes depending on his circumstances. Initially, he is born an orphan, a ward of the city of London. Even though his social status alters with his fate, Oliver remains a victim of the society, both good or bad. No one knows what Oliver's identity is in the beginning, " 'we have never been able to discover who is his father, or what his mother's settlement, name, or con--dition'" (10), according to Mr. Bumble. This confirms Oliver's low social status in the society. However, Oliver later discovers who his parents were and his circumstances of his birth. When Oliver is captured back, Fagin tells him, " 'The Artful shall give you another suit, my dear, for fear you should spoil that Sunday one' " (114). Once captured Fagin tells Dawkins to sell Oliver's current clothes and wear his old clothes. The role of clothes in the story is used to determine whether he is in the upper-class or lower-class. Oliver's identity adapts to his current state. Among many characters who might be redeemed, Nancy is the most sympathetic. Having lived on the streets as a prostitute, she displays good qualities as a person worthy of redemption. Although