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bill sikes and his Great expectations & oliver tw

Great Expectations & Oliver Twist



    During his lifetime, Charles Dickens is known to have written

 several books. Although each book is different, they also share many

 similarities. Two of his books, Great Expectations and Oliver Twist,

 are representatives of the many kinds of differences and similarities

 found within his work.



     Perhaps the reason why these two novels share some of the same

 qualities is because they both reflect painful experiences which

 occurred in Dickens' past. During his childhood, Charles Dickens

 suffered much abuse from his parents.1 This abuse is often expressed

 in his novels. Pip, in Great Expectations, talked often about the

 abuse he received at the hands of his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery. On one

 occasion he remarked, "I soon found myself getting heavily bumped from

 behind in the nape of the neck and the small of the back, and having

 my face ignominously shoved against the wall, because I did not answer

 those questions at sufficient length."2



     While at the orphanage, Oliver from Oliver Twist also experienced

 a great amount of abuse. For example, while suffering from starvation

 and malnutrition for a long period of time, Oliver was chosen by the

 other boys at the orphanage to request more gruel at dinner one night.

 After making this simple request, "the master (at the orphanage) aimed

 a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arms; and

 shrieked aloud for the beadle."3



     The whole beginning of Oliver Twist's story was created from

 memories which related to Charles Dickens' childhood in a blacking

 factory ( which was overshadowed by the Marshalsea Prison ).4 While

 working in the blacking factory, Dickens suffered tremendous

 humiliation. This humiliation is greatly expressed through Oliver's

 adventures at the orphanage before he is sent away.



     Throughout his lifetime, Dickens appeared to have acquired a

 fondness for "the bleak, the sordid, and the austere."5 Most of

 Oliver Twist, for example, takes place in London's lowest slums.6 The

 city is described as a maze which involves a "mystery of darkness,

 anonymity, and peril."7 Many of the settings, such as the pickpocket's

 hideout, the surrounding streets, and the bars, are also described as

 dark, gloomy, and bland.8 Meanwhile, in Great Expectations, Miss

 Havisham's house is often made to sound depressing, old, and lonely.

 Many of the objects within the house had not been touched or moved in

 many years. Cobwebs were clearly visible as well as an abundance of

 dust, and even the wedding dress which Miss Havisham constantly wore

 had turned yellow with age.9



     However, similarities are not just found in the settings. The

 novels' two main characters, Pip and Oliver, are also similar in many

 ways. Both young boys were orphaned practically from birth; but where

 Pip is sent to live with and be abused by his sister, Oliver is sent

 to live in an orphanage. Pip is a very curious young boy. He is a

 "child of intense and yearning fancy."10 Yet, Oliver is well spoken.

 Even while his life was in danger while in the hands of Fagin and Bill

 Sikes, two conniving pickpockets, he refused to participate in the

 stealing which he so greatly opposed. All Oliver really longed for was

 to escape from harsh living conditions and evil surroundings which he

 had grown up in.11 However, no matter how tempting the evil may have

 been, Oliver stood by his beliefs. Therefore, he can be referred to as

 "ideal and incorruptible innocence."12 "It is Oliver's self-generated

 and self-sustained love, conferred it would seem from Heaven alone,

 that preserves him from disaster and death."13



     Unfortunately, many critics have found it hard to believe that a

 boy such as Oliver Twist could remain so innocent, pure, and well

 spoken given the long period of time in which he was surrounded by

 evil and injustices.14



     Pip, on the other hand, is a dreamer. His imagination is always

 helping him to create situations to cover up for his hard times. For

 example, when questioned about his first visit to Miss Havisham's

 house, he made up along elaborate story to make up for the terrible

 time he had in reality. Instead of telling how he played cards all day

 while being ridiculed and ... more

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Oliver Twist
With all of the symbolism and moral issues represented in Oliver Twist, all seem
to come from real events from the life of its author, Charles Dickens. The
novels protagonist, Oliver, is a good person at heart surrounded by the filth of
the London streets. Filth that Dickens himself was forced to deal with in his
everyday life. But through morals and mere chance Oliver becomes a living
symbol. Its probable that the reason Oliver Twist contains so much fear and
agony is because its a reflection of occurrences in Charles Dickens' past.

During his childhood, Charles Dickens suffered much abuse from his parents. This
abuse is often expressed in his novel. While at the orphanage, Oliver
experienced a great amount of abuse. For example, while suffering from
starvation and malnutrition for a long period of time, Oliver was chosen by the
other boys at the orphanage to request more gruel at dinner one night. After
making this simple request, the master (at the orphanage) aimed a blow at

Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arms; and shrieked aloud for
the beadle. The whole beginning of Oliver Twist's story was created from
memories which related to Charles Dickens' childhood in a blacking factory
(which was overshadowed by the Marshalsea Prison ). While working in the
blacking factory, Dickens suffered tremendous humiliation. This humiliation is
greatly expressed through Oliver's adventures at the orphanage before he is sent
away. Throughout his lifetime, Dickens appeared to have acquired a fondness for
"the bleak, the sordid, and the austere. (Bloom 231) Most of Oliver

Twist, for example, takes place in London's lowest slums. The city is described
as a maze which involves a "mystery of darkness, anonymity, and
peril." (Bloom 232) Many of the settings, such as the pickpocket's hideout,
the surrounding streets, and the bars, are also described as dark, gloomy, and
bland. Even while his life was in danger while in the hands of Fagin and Bill

Sikes, two conniving pickpockets, he refused to participate in the stealing
which he so greatly opposed. All Oliver really longed for was to escape from
harsh living conditions and evil surroundings which he had grown up in. (Walder

299) However, no matter how tempting the evil may have been, Oliver stood by his
beliefs. Therefore, he can be referred to as: Unfortunately, many critics have
found it hard to believe that a boy such as Oliver Twist could remain so
innocent, pure, and well spoken given the long period of time in which he was
surrounded by evil and injustices. Fagin the head of a group of young thieves,
spends most of his time trying to "demoralize and corrupt Oliver and
prevent him from ever coming into his inheritance." (Hobsbaum 72) To

Oliver, he is seen as an escape from all previous misery. He also helps Oliver
to ease any fears about starvation and loneliness. One element relied heavily
upon in this novel is symbolism. Obviously, escape is an important symbol in

Oliver Twist. Oliver is seeking various forms of escape from conditions which
makes him unhappy and from his loneliness and starvation. Since dealing with
escapism, it is not surprising that death also plays a major role as a symbol in
this story. In the novel, death and coffins symbolize a happy and peaceful
manner of escape. It is suggested that only loneliness and brutality exist on
earth. Supposedly, there is no sanctity on the planet, which is a belief that
goes against the idea of a Heaven on earth. (Praz 54) Another important
symbol within the novel is "two separate and conflicting dualisms: one,
social, between the individual and the institution; the second, moral, between
the respectable and the criminal." (Praz 56) Most of Oliver Twist seems to
imply that "it is better to be a thief than to be alone." (Walder 152)

This tends to make the reader think that Dickens favors the criminal aspect of
his novel over the moral side. However, the conflict between the individual and
the institution leads to Dickens' criticism of social injustices such as
injusticestowards the poor. Also in the form of satire, Dickens attempts to
"challenge the pleasurability of fortune." (Romano 81) Aside from
satire, Dickens uses various other devices in writing this novel. One of the
most common is that of coincidence. For example, Oliver just happened to end up,
first, at the house of Mr. Brownlow, who at one time was a really good friend of

Oliver's father. Then, later on, Oliver ends up at Rose Maylie's house, ... more

bill sikes and his

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