Oliver Twist Essay

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Winters is a freelance writer and has written for a wide variety of educational publishers. In this essay, she considers themes of survival, the portrayal of criminals, and attitudes toward money and power in Dickens's Oliver Twist.

Oliver Twist

is notable for its emphasis on the struggle to survive, its presentation of the poor and criminals as real people with their own stories and sufferings, and its emphasis on money and the hypocrisy it frequently breeds.

Both Oliver and the thieves are victims of the Poor Laws and other social institutions that prevent or discourage them from productive work. They all battle hunger, cold, and lack of decent living conditions, and society seems bent on rubbing them out—even Oliver's harmless and sweet friend Dick is viewed as a nuisance and a danger by the authorities. As Dickens wrote, children in the "infant farm" are often killed when they are...

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This section contains 1,541 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Oliver Twist Study Guide
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Oliver Twist from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.