Oliver Twist

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Oliver Twist When poverty and class was an issue in the Old World, injustice and society shunned all that was not good. Oliver Twist was a novel that hit all the aspects of that time. The story of Oliver Twist had many underlying to the plot. However, the themes that may be the most apparent within the story are underlined throughout it. The names within the story each have an individual purpose that identifies the character with their own little trait. Environment also seems to play a vital role in where each character is affected by the different influences in society. Love is also another element that drives the story and is what save Oliver from the law. In general Oliver Twist is full of surprising situations that emphases on that time period.

One that was noticed was the use of the names. Each character had a unique name that connected itself to the characteristics of the story.

For example Oliver Twist. A reader may understand the Oliver part, but how do you explain the Twist? This boy's name associates itself with all the 'twists' and changes that occur in his life. Oliver goes from being an abused orphan, then taken in by wealthy people, then kidnapped by his half-brother, and then rescued by a friend of his deceased father. Jack Dawkins was also another colorful character's name who fit pretty well with his traits. Jack was also known as the 'Artful Dodger'. The way this character acts and the way he talks gives all the right to call him 'artful'. The way he mocks the justice system while in a court of law and survives does make him a 'dodger' of the law.

What one can also find interesting in the story is how environment can influence the thought pattern of a person. In this book Dickinson portrays how poverty can decreases ones health and how love can determine human nature. For example does Monks; Oliver's half brother was born a gentleman, however he chose to do evil. He was a product of a loveless marriage and set out to kill his half-brother who was a product of a marriage with love. Could this be the reason for Monks' aggressiveness towards Oliver? Nancy who is also a product of society is a very good example. Although Nancy was a prostitute and an accomplice of crooks, she had the instincts of a good person. When she told Mr. Brownlow everything she was offered protection. However she opted to return to Sikes and Fargin who abuses her. Society had labeled her as a prostitute with no moral values of redemption. The least she felt she could do was stay with the abusive Sikes to maintain a shred of her womanhood.

Different forms of love also appear within the story. The author seems to hint to the fact that affection is one real source for strength. Mr. Brownlow's affection for Oliver saves him from being prosecuted. Rose and Henry find happiness together after all the political heat and hardships that were pressured on them by relatives. However this doesn't say that love always works out for everyone. Nancy's love for Sikes fails because it is not returned. Love also fails when it is motivated by greed or self-advantage. The Bumbles' marriage and the relationship between Noah and Charlotte make fun of true love.

Oliver Twist explores the how and why of the population during that time period. Environment affect people and choice of lifestyle was also influenced. Love was true in some cases but when done in greed and deceit love would corrupt. The names of the character in the story also gave a foreshadow of what was to come. All these elements combined to form a tale of a innocent boy who survives all odds against him.