- Body (Poverty)
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Introduction: Children’s social novel “Oliver Twist” was written by writer Charles Dickens (1812-1870) in 1839 and is one of his most popular works. As a writer in the realistic literature era where “Oliver Twist” is also a work of the literature. The main theme of this work is the poverty and social problems of children in England at that time, where children were mistreated and made a really difficult life.
Body (Poverty): Poverty is one of the main factors that made Oliver’s life very difficult and troublesome and then pushed him to other problems in his life. According to Gholami and Joodaki (2014) the theme of poverty remains one of the central problems that Charles Dickens focuses and attempts to draw attention of his readers to.
The problem of poverty becomes a serious social and economic burden of English society of the late 19th century; this is why Dickens chooses this theme as one of the central themes of his novels. So poverty was not only a problem for Oliver it was also a problem for English at that time.
According to Gowri (2018) in Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens deals with the problems of Oliver and how he experiences physical and emotional suffering throughout his life. Oliver is very poor and has little food to eat which makes him always hungry. He cannot lead a comfortable life. As you can see, Oliver is a poor kid, weak compared to his peers and forced to work to provide a bite of bread.
Under the circumstances he find himself in the hands of a gang of thieves, even though he was looking for a better life when he left those who tortured him.
Oliver Twist a thief or a victim?- Even though Oliver committed a theft, he remains a victim because he regrets and swears he won’t do it again and really did. The study done by D. Didelyté (2008) Fagin's group is the kernel of villainy in the novel where young homeless boys are taken in and taught mischievous trade; trained to become thieves. When Oliver is taken in, in a playful game-like manner, he is also taught to rob and steal.
Many seemed to be born to a life of crime and cruelty but Oliver appears to be different. He is horrified by the brutality and heartlessness around him. During the action of robbery he cries out loud: “Oh! For God's sake let me go! Let me run away in the fields. I will never come near London- never, never! Oh! Pray have mercy upon me, and do not make me steal: for the love of all the bright angels that rest in heaven, have mercy upon me!”. Although this happened as the reason the leader of the thief group had cheated and forced him to do the robbery.
Could Oliver’s life have changed beyond the poverty and the circumstances he was in?- Realistically Oliver’s life would change because finally luck showed mercy to him be meeting him with Mr. Brownlow and Mrs. Maley. According to the book, Ch.Dickens (1838) these two are characterized by kindness, generosity and delirium, where they see “the fruit of hope for a more dignified and humane life”, despite the difficulties that poverty and violence bring to Oliver’s life. So from here we can see that Oliver was not so unlucky and that there was still hope for him.
Can Oliver finally live happy beyond the poverty and the hardship he had?- After many vicissitudes, Oliver finally manages to live happily with the man who restored identity and childhood stolen from bad people. According to L.Schattschneider (2001) in Dickens text however, Brownlow's adaption of Oliver, a character in whom he has become deeply interested, creates what Dickens calls "little society".
Indeed, in Dickens text Brownlow's interest in Oliver makes fictive kinship sentimentally true, also according to the book Mr. Brownlow , Mrs. Maley and her daughter and Nancy too were the only ones who helped Oliver get back to the normal childhood he was supposed to have, and in particular Mr. Brownlow deserves all the praise and we can say with confidence that he was Oliver’s savior and who adopted him and evolved into the land of a boy he never had before, he also made it possible for the band of thieves to end once and for all as a sign of help not only to Oliver but also to other children who were in a lighthouse imprisoned and “under the clutches of evil people” and so on to the bottom of this wonderful novel also written by a world-renowned writer.
Conclusion: The literaly work “Oliver Twist” was a social novel for children in the period of realistic literature which was written by Charles Dickens in 1838. Realistic literature brought events as they were to readers and so did he, Ch.Dickens himself belonged to this period where he brought to the minds of readers the lives of children and of English society in general in England at that time.
Orphaned children lived a very well-off life and with many challenges in the hands of wicked men leading them to become liars, deceivers, thieves and even murders, so all this writer illustrated in Oliver Twist the child who had experienced all these evils since his birth, but his luck smiled when he met the kind and generous people who decided to take care of him, which enabled him to live a normal childhood because it was an elementary right of every child to enjoy their free and happy lives.
So this work first made us aware of the lives of children over a certain period of time and second despite all the evils that life can bring is the good that prevails over evil and wickedness.
- Y, Gholami. and A, Joodaki. (2014). A Social Study of Poverty in Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, Bleak House and Oliver Twist, pp:644
- A, Gowri. (2018). Poverty and suffering of the children in select English Novel Vol. IX : Issue: 3, pp:250
- D, Didelyté. (2008). Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist A Thief or a Victim?, pp:21
- L, Schattschneider. (2001). Mr Brownlow's Interest in Oliver Twist Volume 6, - Issue 1, pp:46
- Ch, Dickens. (1838). The book “Oliver Twist” Abstarct, pp:7-9
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