Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Intro to "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens

1.) Dickens, Charles, "Oliver Twist: The Parish Boy's Progress." Penguin BooksLtd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England. 2002. Penguin Putnam Inc., New York, New York.

2.) "Oliver Twist" was first published between 1837-8 in a serial publication. "Oliver Twist" is a Newgate novel. A Newgate novel is a novel about crime. The genre of "Oliver Twist" is a social protest novel, a detective story, and in a way a children's story. The story is narrated by a third person omniscient narrator. The tone of the novel contains irony, and some sentimentality. In "Oliver Twist", Oliver, the main character is a young orphan who leaves the country to go to a workhouse when he is 9 years old. But when Oliver asks "Please Sir I want some more" (15). He is denied more and veiwed as a bad apple. Oliver is then 'put up for sale' and goes to work for a undertaker. But while there the undertakers young apprentice talks badly about Oliver's dead mother Oliver attacks, and is then locked up. Oliver escapes only to get in with the wrong crowd, Fagin and his boys who are criminals who rob from the rich. When Oliver discovers that these guys are morally wrong and runs after they rob some one. Thinking that Oliver is the robber he is arrested. But the old gentleman, Mr. Brownlow, takes pity and takes Oliver in. Unfortunatly for Oliver he then is kidnapped by Fagin's gang again and forced to break into a house. The whole novel contains a lot of foreshadowing, and Oliver is constantly being pursued by a man named as 'monk.' The novel concludes with all of the mysteries foreshadowed in the story being solved.

3.) What I really like about this novel is that it is hard to put it down when reading it. And though some parts of the novel are dark, some parts are highly humerous, and sarcastic. Like the character's Mr. Bumble, and the character of Master Bates. I really like the detective side of the novel, trying to solve the case as to who Monk is, and why he wishes Oliver harm throuhout the entire novel. I really like the fact that the novel's third person omniscent narrator takes the reader into the different character's minds in the novel.

4.) There are similarites between "Oliver Twist" and "Great Expectations." In both novels there are the questions of morality. The differences between right and wrong, and a young boy trying to find his way to the path of having a good morality. There is a male figure in both stories that takes the side of showing the main character what good morals are, and there is also in both novels the man showing the opposite side of having bad morals. There is also the same question of family and what makes a family and what a real family is. There are also social problems in both novels between the aristocracy, and the lower class. Both novels take on what makes a good person and the fact that no matter what social class you are born into does not reflect on what you will turn out to be as a person.

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