Novel written by Charles Dickens and published between 1937 and 1939 as a serial, on an English litterary magazine. The novel is the story of an orphan. It begins with Oliver's life in a workhouse governed by the cold-hearted beadle, Bumble. Oliver runs away but falls into the hands of a gang of burglars led by the terrible Jew, Fagin. Other members are the = brutal Bill Sikes, his mistress Nancy and another boy "the Artful Dodger" . Oliver is rescued by a kindly gentleman, Mr Brownslow, but is kidnapped again by the gang. A new character - Monks - enters the plot and shows a sinister interest in Oliver. During a burglary Oliver is wounded and convalesces in the house of Mrs Maylie and Rosie. At this point Nancy tells Oliver that Monks has evil intentions towards him. Sikes finds out and brutally murders her. Trying to escape, he accidentally hangs himself. The gang is captured; Fagin is executed; Monks confesses he is Oliver's half-brother and wishes to destroy him to keep their inheritance to himself. Rosie turns out to be Oli-ver's mother's sister. Mr Brownslow adopts Oliver. Monks is forced to emigrate and Bumble to enter the workhouse he formerly governed.The plot is contrived and unrealistic:a fairy-tale journey through dangers to reach a near-miraculous happy endingwith all the villains punished. The characters are also unrealistic(apart from Oliver): there is a too clear distinction between good and evil personalities and their qualities(Mr Brownslow's kindness)and vices (Bill Sikes' brutality)are exagerated nearly to the point of caricature. The action is often melodramatic(Monks' macchiavellian plot;Sikes'death).The framework of the story,however,allows Dickens to create a very particular type of fiction. In Oliver Twist the characters have a vitality and fascination that is larger than life. They lack psychological reality but, through his narrative powers and brilliant use of dialogue, Dickens animates them with an almost theatrical presence.Injustice and danger are presented melodramatically, virtue sentimentally, but both are balanced by the humour(not comic here, as with Pickwick) which is everywhere in Dickens'writing. The description of workhouse life in Oliver Twist is powerful .Oliver is just one of several boys who are the heroes of the novels. Dickens' own boyhood experience of hard labour was a source of inspiration fot him.Oliver Twist was well-received by public and chritics, although it was not as big a success as The Pickwick Papers. Many criticized Dickens for his portrayal of criminals and prostitutes , which at the time was controversial.Anyway Oliver Twist was well-received by public and critics.
THE VICTORIAN AGE:
We could say that the Victorian era began in 1837 and ended with Queen Victoria's death in 1901, but the period can be stretched to include the years both before and after these dates, from the Napoleonic Wars until the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
The Industrial Revolution took place in Victorian Age:This was made up of technological, scientific and industrial innovations.