Oliver Twist Essay

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In the following essay, Paroissien examines Oliver Twist as a reflection of English society and its changing environment during Dickens's formative years.

Readers familiar with literature about Britain written during the interval between Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in 1815 and the coronation of Queen Victoria twenty-two years later know how rich it is in studies that map the distinctive features of the post-war period. Some writers, like Bulwer Lytton in his England and the English (1833), mixed sociology and history in order to analyze society in the manner of De Toqueville and Montesquieu. Others—David Ricardo, Sismondi, the Swiss economist and historian, and Patrick Colquhoun, are examples—focussed more specifically on the best ways to exploit the source of England's wealth. Some took the position that a free economy would promote social harmony and growth. Dissenters, like Sismondi, advocated government controls as the best way to ensure stability by regulating the production...

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This section contains 2,704 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Oliver Twist Study Guide
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