An Analysis And Interpretation Of Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, in 1883, to show the reader things as they really are. He felt that the novel should be a message of social reform. One of its purposes was to promote reform of the abuses in workhouses. In no way does Dickens create a dream world. His imagination puts together a bad place during a bad time; an English workhouse just after the Poor Law Act of 1834 (Scott-Kilvert, 48).
In the first chapter of Oliver Twist, Dickens moves from comedy to pathos and from pathos to satire. He takes us from the drunken old woman to the dying mother to the hardened doctor. Such rapid switches help in all the later novels to hold together disparate effects, to provide variety and unity, and to give that double opportunity for comedy and pathos that Dickens admired in stage melodrama (Scott-Kilvert, 47). In this first chapter, Dickens also captures life and death in a single sentence, “Let me see the child, and die.” (Dickens, 2). This sums up the mothers will to see the newborn baby, and takes a short stride from birth to death.
Dickens seems to create his characters
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