Book Analysis of Oliver Twist

1. The title of this novel is Oliver Twist and it was written by Charles Dickens. It was first published in Nov. of 1838. 2. Main Characters: First of the main characters is, of course, Oliver Twist. He was born in a parish workhouse where his mother died during the birth. A lady named Sally was present while he was born and when his mom died, she took from his mom a ring and a locket. Then he was sent to an infant farm until he was 9 years old when he was put back into the workhouse.

There the orphans are mistreated and starved and when he asked for more food at super he was branded a troublemaker and they offered him to be apprenticed by anyone who wanted him. He was then apprenticed by an undertaker, but he ran away to London because he fought with the undertaker’s son who mocked his mother’s death and was beaten for fighting. There in London he lives on the streets until a boy gives him a place to stay. When he goes he is thrown into a band of thieves under a man named Fagin. He doesn’t like the crime of steeling that he witnesses and is falsely accused of.

He is taken in by the victim of the theft who treats him well and cares for him until Oliver is kidnapped and delivered back to Fagin. There are many more unfortunate events in his life, but in the end it turns out good for Oliver. I believe Dickens wrote the story to show that the environment that people live in can turn them into criminals instead of the belief that people are just born that way. Oliver shows this because his environment was always trying to turn him bad, but one could clearly see that he didn’t want to be a criminal and did not agree with the lifestyle and in the end he never became one.

The other main character in the book is Fagin. It is rumored that Charles Dickens was anti Semitic because of this character, but those claims are untrue. This was because Fagin was referred to as “the Jew” and many of his features were that he was ugly due to many stereotypes of the way Jewish people look. Anyway, in the book this man is a terrible person who manipulated people for his own gain, mostly for money. In the story he was always trying to manipulate Oliver into becoming one of his thieves like the rest of the children he took off of the street.

I believe that out of all the characters within this book, Fagin has to be the worst of them all because of how he corrupted the minds of the children to do his dirty work. I believe that he represents what is wrong with society and he himself is influenced by his environment because he isn’t very educated and poor so the only way to get money, in his mind, is to steel it. 3. The setting of this novel was during the early nineteenth century in England. In this time the industrial revolution was taking place which caused many to move to the cities causing crowding and many people became poor and lived on the streets.

There were more advancements in technology at this time and also religious uncertainty began amongst the people as well. With these aspects combined many poorer people turned to crime in order to survive. This is why Oliver Twist was thrown into the events throughout this novel. 4. This novel is about a young boy who was orphaned at birth and ran away from a workhouse to London England. There he lived on the streets until a man named Fagin took him in and tried to turn him into a criminal.

Oliver resisted and got away from Fagin with the help of good people who he met throughout the story. 5. The most important conflict in the book was how the environment of living on the streets which turned many people to thievery put its influence on Oliver Twist. This conflict goes on throughout the entire novel and Oliver never allows his surroundings to influence the way he will live his life. 6. “When the boy is worth a hundred pounds to me, am I to lose what chance threw me in the way of getting safely, through the whims of a drunken gang that I could whistle away the lives of!

And me bound, too, to a born devil, that only wants the will and has the power” This is a quote of Fagin and I chose it because it shows what kind of person he really is. One can see how far he goes with his greed and the way in which he uses people for his own gain when reading this statement he makes. “…as Oliver looked out of the parlor window, and saw the Jew roll [his old clothes] up in his bag and walk away, he felt quite delighted to think that they were safely gone, and that there was now no possible danger of his ever being able to wear them again.

They were sad rags, to tell the truth; and Oliver had never had a new suit before. ” This passage is important because it gives an insight to the character of Oliver Twist. Ever since he was born he has been labeled and ridiculed for the clothes that he wears and this passage shows that the chance to choose his own clothing is extremely important to Oliver. 7. The point of view of this novel was told through third person; an anonymous narrator. This allows the reader to get different perspectives of events through more than one character. . A theme that Dickens has in this novel is the affects that a social environment has on people’s morals. He shows this by describing the way in which people live on the streets; turning to crime to survive. In the book Dickens shows that the environment people live in doesn’t corrupt a person entirely because he shows that criminals within the story still have a conscience and Oliver’s morals are never corrupted throughout the entire novel which goes against what many believe.

Another idea that he puts forward in the novel is how government run charities for poor people doesn’t work. On the contrary it makes these people dependent on the government and they never are able to gain their independence and break free from the government’s hold. 9. This book reveals that the time period that Dickens lived in was one full of struggles and he questioned many aspects life such as capitalism, which in his opinion leaves people out to dry so to say, charity, and the effects that the environment has on people’s morals.

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