British Literature Honors
25 January 2013
Thematic Analysis on Oliver Twist
Many know of Oliver Twist; people know the novel as "the one about the orphan boy who asked for more," but what many do not know, is its analytical reference to the true life of orphans and children in the 1800s in England. Charles Dickens's novel, Oliver Twist, published in 1838, tells of an orphaned boy whose mother has died shortly after birthing him in a workhouse. Oliver is then raised in the workhouse and at the age of eight is forced to work in a factory. Charles, who is known for his social issue writing, wrote this novel to shine a light on the social issue of child labor in England at that time. Within the novel, many of the characters can be related to real-life social classes in England ("Dickens's Tale").
Oliver can serve as an example of all the orphans and poor people within the country, and some characters, such as Mr. Bumble, who were not accepting or kind to Olive can be a representation of the working or high class of England. Many people, such as Fagin, moved into a life of crime in order to prevent themselves from working the ruthless and wretched job of a factory worker (Furneaux). Victorian England provided very little laws to help the poor move up in social classes, due to the fact that there were only two classes at that time: the high class and the low class. The child labor and poor law systems that Charles Dickens incorporated into his novel described the truth about society at that time in the Victorian England time period (Pollard).
One of the reasons Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist was to expose...