Oliver Twist is a character that Charles Dickens used to show the "blinded world" of human suffering. The workhouse, poverty, street children, illegitimate children, women who had babes without being married, the sick, and the Churches discrimination against the out-cast and unfortunate people. All these Dickens weaved into his stories in order to teach the public of "the least of these." I do not believe Dickens taught out of Christian duty. I do believe he taught out of his hearts conscience and from his own experiences.
This talent for Dickens to create such gripping characters, added to the readers ability to have sympathy or hatred or love for his creations.
When describing The Old Jew Fagin, he was compared to a rat or reptile. Another words we were given a description of a creature that was not really human; but instead vile, calculating, mean, venomous.
Oliver Twist is the story of a boy who was born in a London workhouse in the early 1800's, and whose mother died shortly afterwards. Mysterious circumstances brought his mother to this vile place. The people that were in charge of this workhouse were callous and malicious towards him.
Oliver, despite his circumstances was a child that had a heart of beauty.
The famous lines that many know, even if they've never read Oliver Twist, "Please, sir, I want some more." These words came from young Oliver in order to feed the empty pit in his belly. I also wondered if not only did he want more food for sustenance in his body, but that he also wanted more in life besides his sad state.
Oliver seemed to be accused at every turn for things he didn't commit. Eventually he would be introduced to the Old Jew Fagin who would work to teach him to be one of his "boys." Despite the rat-like monster Fagin, Oliver's conscience would not allow him to hurt others.
Through hazardous circumstances Oliver met Mr. Brownlow and he would become Oliver's advocate.
I loved this story! Endearingly loved it! Reading this story has been one of the highlights in my reading life!
One of my favorite quotes:
"Oliver complied; marveling where the people could be found to read such a great number of books as seemed to be written to make the world wiser. Which is still a marvel to more experienced people than Oliver Twist, everyday of their lives." page 146
My copy of Oliver Twist is a Complete and Unabridged Barnes and Nobles Collected Library 2003.
The Story Oliver Twist was published in 1837.
Victorian Fiction/19th Century/Classic Literature/The Classics Club/A Victorian Summer Celebration/Chunkster Challenge
Links for more information on Charles Dickens: