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Oliver Twist was originally named The Parish Boy

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Charles John Huffman Dickens a 19th century British novelist
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Born: February 7, 1812
Death: June 9, 1870
Origin: Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, UK
Mother: Elizabeth Dickens
Father: John Dickens
Life:
Charles Dickens Grew up in a life of poverty, born into the life of the lower-middle class. With the family's financial difficulties it caused them to move and settled in Camden Town, a poor neighborhood of London. Charles was able to get a private education. At the age of twelve Charles father, Johns Dickens was sent to Marshalsea Debtors prison due to being in debt. He had spent money way beyond his means for entertainment and keeping his social position. With his father gone Charles left school to work at Warrens blacking warehouse shinning shoes. This helped Charles support his family. By the age of 15 he began attending a poor school called Wellington house academy north of London. He also began working at a law office of Ellis and Blackmore as a junior clerk. He stayed there for a year and then left to become a shorthand reporter. In 1830 he met his first love Maria Beadnell. But her parents did not approve of the relationship so her parents ended the relationship by sending her to school in Paris. IN 1833 he became a journalist of the politcal nature. Throughout Dickens career he continued to contribute to and edit journals. n 1836 he accepted and editing job for Bentley's Miscellany. on April 2, 1836 he married Catherine Thompson, daughter of the editor of the Evening Chronicles. Together they had ten kids and lived in Bloomsbury.T hen later in 1837 moved 48 Doughty street in London. 1842 he made his first trip to America and Canada. Dickens visited New York City and met John Tyler president of the United States at the time. In 1858 Dickens and Catherine divorced. In 1869 he had collapsed due to a mild stroke. Then again on June 9, 1870 had another stroke causing his death. Charles Dickens was buried at the poets corner of Westminister Abbey.


Setting

Oliver Twist is set and based in England, London during the 19th century. A time where justice was inhumane, the streets are repulsive and extreme cruelty was placed upon the poor.

Summary/ Plot

Oliver is born in a workhouse in a small town in London, England in the early part of the 19th century. His mother dies almost immediately after his birth. Nobody knows who she was and the Doctor could not identify her. As a kid, the parish officials running the child farm decide it’s time for him to start working, and they send him back to the workhouse. During lunch at the warehouse Oliver is dared to ask for more food when he is close to starving, The parish officials eventually send Oliver off with a coffin-make Mr. Sowerberry. He isn’t so bad, although Mrs. Sowerberry, and the other apprentice, Noah Claypole, have it in for Oliver. After being tortured and abused, Oliver decides to run away. He then runs into a young man named Jack Dawkins. He introduces Oliver to Fagin who will have a place for him to stay. Fagin, trains kids to be pickpockets, and then he sells off what they steal. Oliver steals the pocket handkerchief out of a nice-looking old man's pocket. Oliver is caught by Mr. Brownlow and is taken in for care. Fagin, the Dodger, Nancy and Bill Sikes are worried that Oliver will rat them out to the police. While out running errands Fagin and the criminals nabs Oliver once again. Not long afterward, Bill Sikes takes Oliver along another mission. The plan goes wrong and Oliver is caught in the act of sneaking in. They then become Oliver’s caretakers. Meanwhile, Fagin talks to mysterious man name Monk about Oliver.. Nancy secretly resolves to help Oliver and gets in touch with Rose Maylie to warn her about Monks’s plot with Fagin. Unfortunately for Nancy, Bill Sikes finds out about it and brutally murders her. Eventually he falls off a rooftop while he’s trying to lower himself down, and hangs himself. Mr. Brownlow was an old friend of Monks’s father and knows all about him. As it turns out, Monks is actually the older half-brother of Oliver, and was trying to corrupt Oliver so that he’d secure the entire family inheritance himself. Monks chooses to admit to everything rather than face the police.Oliver ends up with what’s left of his inheritance, is legally adopted by Mr. Brownlow, Fagin is eventually arrested and hanged, and Monks, dies in prison.


Major Characters

  • Oliver Twist - The novel’s protagonist. Oliver is an orphan born in a workhouse. Though treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, he is a pious, innocent child, and his charms draw the attention of several wealthy benefactors.

  • Ange Flemming - Oliver's Mother who dies immediately after giving birth to Oliver in the beginning of the novel. Also whose identity is not revealed towards the ending of the novel.

  • Fagin - A conniving career criminal. Fagin takes in homeless children and trains them to pick pockets for him. He is also a buyer of other people’s stolen goods. He rarely commits crimes himself.

  • The Artful Doger - Real name is Jack Dawkins, he is the one who Introduces Oliver to Fagin. The cleverest of Fagin’s pickpockets. Though no older than Oliver, the Dodger talks and dresses like a grown man.

  • Bill Sikes - A brutal professional burglar brought up in Fagin’s gang. Sikes and Nancy are lovers, and he treats both her and his dog Bull’s-eye with an odd combination of cruelty and grudging familiarity.

  • Nancy - A young prostitute and one of Fagin’s former child pickpockets. Nancy is also Bill Sikes’s lover. Despite her criminal lifestyle, she is among the noblest characters in the novel.

  • Mr. Brownlow - a nice gentlemen who takes Oliver in and takes care of him.

  • Monk - Real name is Edward Leeford which is Oliver's half brother who seeks out to destroy Oliver in order to inherit his fortunes. he is vicious and seems to have violent fits. He is paid by fagin to corrupt Olivers mind to become a criminal.
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Minor characters

  • Mrs. Mann - Owner of a dirty, harsh conditioned ware house where Oliver was born, raised and worked under extreme conditions.

  • Mr. Bumble - Ware house worker who denies Oliver of food. and sends him to live with Mr. Sowerberry.

  • Mr. Sowerberry - Coffin maker who takes in Oliver at the beginning

  • Mrs. Sowerberry - Mr. sowerberrys wife

  • Bull's Eye - Bill Sikes Dog

  • Rose Maylies - Oliver's aunt, good friends with Nancy.

  • Noah Claypole - A charity boy and Mr. Sowerberry’s apprentice. Noah is an overgrown, cowardly bully who mistreats Oliver and eventually joins Fagin’s gang.

  • Old Sally - An elderly pauper who serves as the nurse at Oliver’s birth. Old Sally steals Agnes’s gold locket, the only clue to Oliver’s identity

  • Mr. Leeford - Monks father, who fell in love with Anges and got her pregnant with Oliver. but left due to the fact of a forced marriage. He is also good friends in fact very close friends with Mr. Brownlow.


Literary Devices

Metaphor - in the novel Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens uses metaphor by using the London bridge as a symbol that divides two utterly different life styles. one side represents Mr. Brownlow side of living and then the other side represents the slums that Oliver was brought to, until he crossed over to Mr. Brownlow side. The metaphor of the bridge as a division between classes, serves to emphasize the large social divisions at the time of Dickens writing.

Symbolism - symbolism is another literary device that Charles Dickens uses within the novel. through out the novel such characters and objects are used to show the relationship between Olivers true history. objects from the gold locket, the portrait within Brownlows house and the people that come and are revealed shoes the symbolism that is played throughout the novel.


Literary Criticism

Charles Dickens criticism on Oliver Twist is portraying a theme of survival of the fittest. It also portrays the cruelty that children and poor people suffer during the 19th century society. How there was no justice and real sane consequences during the 1900. Society’s Attitude Towards Under Privileged Children in the Novel Oliver Twist ‘Oliver Twist’ is one of Charles Dickens most reassuring popular novels. Best known for his host of distinctively cruel, comic and repugnant characters,. The novel also explains how inhumane, and unsanitary the 1900th century was. The law that is portrayed by being cruel, repulsive and having an indifference over the poor and the people of that time.


Personal review

This novel is one of Charles Dickens greatest work. I love how the kids are in a league of their own. the way they have to live in order to survive. Each character plays a specific role. When reading the book i could imagine myself in Oliver shoes or even Jack Dawkins (The Artful Dodger). i can apply this book with my life. Because today survival of the fittest still goes on today. However just like the title there are many twist within thee book.


Bibliography

  1. h"Charles Dickens Biography." Charles Dickens Biography. Web. 12 May 2010. <http://charlesdickensbiography.com/>.
  2. Literary Criticism of Oliver Twist. 123helpme, 2000-2010. Web. 14 May 2010. <http://www.123helpme.com/search.asp?Olver+Twist>.