Oliver Twist



Charles Dickens, probably one of the most popular writer and humorist of his

century was born at Landport in Portsea, on February seventh, 1812. His father, John

Dickens was a clerk in a navy-pay office, and mother Elizabeth Borrow, along with his

eight other siblings, which the other two died in infancy, lived in Portsea, and were fairly

poor. Because of the arising poverty in his life time, Charles Dickens was forced to work

as a child laborer when he was just twelve year of age.

Although Charles Dickens faced many challenges in his young life, his love for

writing dominated all of the challenges he faced in life. Perhaps, his book, Oliver Twist,

was about, well, mainly about his life as a child. Although Dickens wrote Oliver Twist

while he was finishing The Pickwick Papers and editing Bentley's Miscellany, he

managed to make the novel remarkable for it's clarity of purpose and it's sustained

intensity(The Cambridge guide to Literature in English; Ian Ousby).

The story that lies behind the infamous story of a little orphan boy named Oliver

is very different from his other previous novels. Other critics say that Oliver Twist is

barely a novel, but more as a satire or sarcasm about the victorian era.

First of all, the story begins with a young woman who gave birth to a boy whom

they named Oliver. The young woman did not even have any time to hold her new born,

but just in time to kiss him, then shortly died after that, the boy on the other hand

survived, not knowing what kind of twist and turn his life would take as he grows and

faces the real world.

As the boy grew in a very vain and cruel environment, his turns in life was not

going too good either. Having the parish not enough facilities for his care, Oliver was

forced to move and work as a child laborer and in the care of a very greedy woman

named Mrs. Mann. Child labor was very common back then, and there was an actual law

that was set to eliminate poverty by starving the poor, that was called the Poor Law of

1834.(The Life of Charles Dickens;John Forester) Dickens used this law in his story to

satarize the living in London, in the 19th century, and probably because he experienced

child labor when he was growing up, and therefore tried to emphazise the way he lived

back then.

As soon as Oliver turned nine years old, Mr. Bumble, the beadle of the parish

which where Oliver was born, took Oliver with him to work as an oakum picker. But

because of the increasing of poverty, Oliver and the other workers were only fed little

pieces of food. In the midst of starvation, one of Oliver's friend pursued Oliver to ask for

some more food, and by that, Oliver was taken to a dark room for a week for his

"disrespectfulness." Perhaps, Dickens was trying to tell the readers how the life of a poor

boy be so unimportant to those who dominates him, and thus the other children living in

povety also. This challenge of Oliver's life is just preparing him for the other eventful

changes in his immediate future.

Soon after, a reward was posted on a board for anyone who would like to take an

orphan boy to their care, and will be offered five-pounds. Mr. Gamfield was willing to

accept the boy for a bribe of five-pounds, but because of his bad publicity, meaning he

had already lost the lives of several of his apprentices, he was told to be paid three-

pounds and ten-shillings, instead of the five-pounds that was promised. Mr. Gamfield

agreed to the proposition, and so did the board. Later, brought before a local judge for

approval that Oliver was to be cared by Mr. Gamfield, the near sighted judge, searching

for his ink bottel, caused him to look at the frightened face of Oliver, and then quickly

realized that he would do something wrong if he let Oliver go with Mr. Gamfield,

dropped and refused to sign the papers of approval, and told Oliver to return to the

workhouse where the offering of five-pounds to anyone that would take him away was

posted again.

After several request in attempt to