Charles Dickens’ life

He was born in Portsmouth, on the southern coast of England in 1812. He had an unhappy childhood in fact his father went to prison when he was 12, and his wife and children joined him except Charles who went to work in a factory. At 15 he found employment as an office boy at a lawyer’s and studied shorthand at night. He started to write sketches, by 1832 he had become a very successful reporter. He died in London in 1870 and is buried in Westminster abbey. His masterpiece is Oliver Twist.

Oliver Twist (1873-39)

Childhood in the Victorian age was a generally cruel experience. A lot of children from poor and working-class backgrounds who escaped and early death were obliged either to work in factories and mines, or as domestic servant and chimneysweepers. Others became criminals.

London life

The most important setting of the novel is London, which is depicted at 3 different social levels.
First the parochial word of the workhouse, the inhabitants of this word belong to the lower-middle-classes and are insensible to the feelings of the poor. The second described is the criminal word, whit pickpockets and murderers. The last is the word of the Victorian middle class, in which live respectable people who have moral values.

The story

Oliver twist first appeared in 1837 in instalments and was later published as a book. The novel reflect the economy insecurity and humiliation Dickens experienced as a child.
Oliver twist is a poor boy of without parents, he is grown up in a workhouse in an inhuman way. Later he is sold to an undertaken as an apprentice, but the cruelty and then unhappiness he experiences with his new master cause him to run away to London. There he falls into the hands of a gang of young pickpockets, who tried to make a thief out of him, but the boy is helped by an old gentleman. Oliver is kidnapped by the gang and forced to commit a housebreaking but during the job he is shot. Later a middle-class family adopts Oliver and showed him kindness and love. Whit some investigation it turns out that Oliver has noble origins. In fact, the gang of pickpockets was paid by Oliver’s half-brother to ruin him and have their father's property all for himself, they are arrested at the end.

Oliver wants some more

On day on an evening after everyone have finished to eat, Oliver goes to the master asking for some more soup. The master becomes pale of anger and takes the child to Mr Lumbkins who was sitting in solemn conclave and he decides that the child must be sent to instant confinement. The day after is posted on the outside of the gate a poster offering a reward of five pounds to any man or woman who wants an apprentice.
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