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English Literature - Victorian Era 1 (1837-1857) , Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist
Transcript of English Literature - Victorian Era 1 (1837-1857) , Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist
Victoria’s reign lasted over 63 years
In the Victorian era, the novel replaced the poem as the most fashionable vehicle for the transmission of literature. The Victorian era was the great age of the English novel—realistic, thickly plotted, crowded with characters. It was the ideal form to describe contemporary life and to entertain the middle class. Oliver's mother dies after the birth of her child.
Oliver as an orphan is placed in a branch-workhouse.
After nine years, Oliver returned to the workhose.
One day, Oliver and several boys in the workhouse draw losts to see who's going to have to ask for extra gruel.
Oliver loses and oliver is punished. 1.Oliver Twist is an extreme criticism of Victorian society’s treatment of the poor.
Since it was believed that certain vices were inherent to the poor and that poor families fostered rather than discouraged such vices, poor husbands and wives were separated in order to prevent them from having children and expanding the lower class. Poor children were taken away from their parents in order to allow the state and the church to raise them in the manner they believed most appropriate. 1. The Failure of Charity
2. The Folly of Individualism
3. Purity in a Corrupt City Oliver Twist
by Charles Dickens Lulu Arifina (12/328958/SA/16277)
Fifi Rania Maulida (12/334895/SA/16495) During the Victorian Era, great economic, social, and political changes occurred in Britain. Industry and trade expanded rapidly, and railways and canals crisscrossed the country. Science and technology made great advances. The size of the middle class grew enormously. In addition, the government introduced democratic reforms, such as the right to vote for an increasing number of people. Major Events in The Victorian Era 1. Huge growth in population:
the population of Britain boomed during the 19th (in 1801 it was about 9 milion and by 1901 it had risen to about 41 milion. Major themes of literature in the Victorian Era The battle between right or wrong
Potrayed about the real life in society (Victorian Era) Major Events in The Victorian Era 2. Improvements in Technology Major Events in The Victorian Era 3. poor conditions for the working class:
population increase -> made the larger numbers of both skilled and unskilled people were looking for work. Major Events in The Victorian Era 3. poor conditions for the working class:
it made a lot of people (especially artists, like writers) felt obligated to speak out against what they believed to be societal injustices. (7 February 1812 - 9 June 1870) Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic.
He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. Charles Dickens Dickens life were going superwell for a while.
But, in 1824, his father, his mother and siblings were sent to debtor's prison at the same time.
Basically, he had to go work at age 12. suddenly, he was one of a ton of child laborers, which he wasn't all that familiar with before. Charles Dickens' Literary Style Most of his works were published serially (published in sections in magazine).
He loved a good satire. he liked to comment on social issues particulary class and poverty.
He created some great characters. Oliver Twist is Charles Dickens' second novel, subtitled The Parish Boy's Progress which published in English Literature Magazine called Bentley's Micellany by Richard Bentley. Oliver Twist It was first published in monthly installment that came out in 1837, and its final chapters eventually came out in 1839. Oliver Twist The story is about an orphan, Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets. Naively unaware of their unlawful activities, Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin. Oliver Twist Trailer Characters in Oliver Twist 1. Oliver Twist - the novel’s protagonist. He is an orphan, his mother dies shortly after giving birth to him. He is nine years old. He is naïve, innocent and easily taken advantage of. His true identity is the central mystery of the novel. Characters in Oliver Twist Characters in Oliver Twist Characters in Oliver Twist Characters in Oliver Twist Characters in Oliver Twist 2. Fagin - A conniving career criminal. He is Jewish. 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, preferring to employ others to commit them—and often suffer legal retribution—in his place. 3. Nancy - A young prostitute and one of Fagin’s former child pickpockets. Nancy is also Bill Sikes’s lover. Her love for Sikes and her sense of moral decency come into conflict when Sikes abuses Oliver. Despite her criminal lifestyle, she is among the noblest characters in the novel. In effect, she gives her life for Oliver when Sikes murders her for revealing Monks’s plots. 4. Bill Sikes - A brutal professional burglar brought up in Fagin’s gang. Sikes is Nancy's pimp and lover, and he treats both her and his dog Bull’s-eye with an odd combination of cruelty and grudging affection. His murder of Nancy is the most heinous of the many crimes that occur in the novel. 5. Mr. Bumble - The pompous, self-important beadle—a minor church official—for the workhouse where Oliver is born. Though Mr. Bumble preaches Christian morality, he behaves without compassion toward the paupers under his care. Dickens mercilessly satirizes his self-righteousness, greed, hypocrisy, and folly. 6. The Artful Dodger - The cleverest of Fagin’s pickpockets. The Dodger’s real name is Jack Dawkins. Though no older than Oliver, the Dodger talks and dresses like a grown man. He introduces Oliver to Fagin.
7. Monks - A sickly, vicious young man, prone to violent fits and teeming with inexplicable hatred. With Fagin, he schemes to give Oliver a bad reputation. Characters in Oliver Twist Characters in Oliver Twist 8. Mr. Brownlow - A well-off, erudite gentleman who serves as Oliver’s first benefactor. Mr. Brownlow owns a portrait of Agnes Fleming and was engaged to Mr. Leeford’s sister when she died. Throughout the novel, he behaves with compassion and common sense and emerges as a natural leader. 9. Rose Maylie - Agnes Fleming’s sister, raised by Mrs. Maylie after the death of Rose’s father. A beautiful, compassionate, and forgiving young woman, Rose is the novel’s model of female virtue. She establishes a loving relationship with Oliver even before it is revealed that the two are related.
10. Mrs. Maylie - A kind, wealthy older woman, the mother of Harry Maylie and adoptive “aunt” of Rose. Characters in Oliver Twist 11. Agnes Fleming - Oliver’s mother. After falling in love with and becoming pregnant by Mr. Leeford, she chooses to die anonymously in a workhouse rather than stain her family’s reputation. A retired naval officer’s daughter, she was a beautiful, loving woman. Oliver’s face closely resembles hers.
12. Mr. Leeford - Oliver and Monks’s father, who dies long before the events of the novel. He was an intelligent, high-minded man whose family forced him into an unhappy marriage with a wealthy woman. He eventually separated from his wife and had an illicit love affair with Agnes Fleming. He intended to flee the country with Agnes but died before he could do so.
13. Mr. Losberne - Mrs. Maylie’s family physician. A hot-tempered but good-hearted old bachelor, Mr. Losberne is fiercely loyal to the Maylies and, eventually, to Oliver.
14. Harry Maylie - Mrs. Maylie’s son. Harry is a dashing young man with grand political ambitions and career prospects, which he eventually gives up to marry Rose. 15. Charley Bates - One of Fagin’s pickpockets. Charley is ready to laugh at anything.
16. 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.
17. Mrs. Corney - The matron of the workhouse where Oliver is born. Mrs. Corney is hypocritical, callous, and materialistic. After she marries Mr. Bumble, she hounds him mercilessly.
18. 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.
19. Charlotte - The Sowerberrys’ maid. Charlotte becomes romantically involved with Noah Claypole and follows him about slavishly. Characters in Oliver Twist Characters in Oliver Twist 20. Toby Crackit - One of Fagin and Sikes’s associates, crass and not too bright. Toby participates in the attempted burglary of Mrs. Maylie’s home.
21. Mrs. Bedwin - Mr. Brownlow’s kindhearted housekeeper. Mrs. Bedwin is unwilling to believe Mr. Bumble’s negative report of Oliver’s character.
22. Bull’s-eye - Bill Sikes’s dog. As vicious as his master, Bull’s-eye functions as Sikes’s alter ego.
23. Monks’s mother - An heiress who lived a decadent life and alienated her husband, Mr. Leeford. Monks’s mother destroyed Mr. Leeford’s will, which left part of his property to Oliver. Much of Monks’s nastiness is presumably inherited from her.
24. Mr. Sowerberry - The undertaker to whom Oliver is apprenticed. Though Mr. Sowerberry makes a grotesque living arranging cut-rate burials for paupers, he is a decent man who is kind to Oliver.
25. Mrs. Sowerberry - Sowerberry’s wife. Mrs. Sowerberry is a mean, judgmental woman who henpecks her husband. Characters in Oliver Twist 26. Mr. Grimwig - Brownlow’s pessimistic, curmudgeonly friend. Mr. Grimwig is essentially good-hearted, and his pessimism is mostly just a provocative character quirk.
27. Mr. Giles - Mrs. Maylie’s loyal, though somewhat pompous, butler.
28. Mr. Brittles - A sort of handyman for Mrs. Maylie’s estate. It is implied that Mr. Brittles is slightly mentally handicapped.
29. Mrs. Mann - The superintendent of the juvenile workhouse where Oliver is raised. Mrs. Mann physically abuses and half-starves the children in her care.
30. Mr. Gamfield - A brutal chimney sweep. Oliver almost becomes Mr. Gamfield’s apprentice.
31. Bet - One of Fagin’s former child pickpockets, now a prostitute.
32. Mr. Fang - The harsh, irrational, power-hungry magistrate who presides over Oliver’s trial for pickpocketing. Characters in Oliver Twist 33. Barney - One of Fagin’s criminal associates. Like Fagin, Barney is Jewish.
34. Duff and Blathers - Two bumbling police officers who investigate the attempted burglary of Mrs. Maylie’s home.
35. Tom Chitling - A rather dim member of Fagin’s gang. Tom has served time in jail for doing Fagin’s bidding. Plot of Oliver Twist Mr. Bumble offers five pounds for anyone to take Oliver away from the workhouse.
Mr. Sowerberry, who's an undertaker, takes Oliver on as an apprentice.
Unfortunately, another apprentice, Noah Claypole, ends up bullying Oliver, saying all sorts of mean things about his mother. Oliver lashes out, things go south pretty quickly with the Sowerberrys, and he runs away to London.
There he meets the Artful Dodger, Jack Dawkins. Jack offers to help and give him a place to live, which sounds great until it turns out that it is the home of Fagin, and Oliver gets trained in the art of pickpocketing.
But because he's so virtuous and unable to be wrong, he gets totally freaked out just watching two boys steal a handkerchief, not even money or anything.
The man who is being robbed is Mr. Brownlow, who's one of good man. He recognizes that Oliver is freaked out and doesn't want to do it - so he recognizes the good in Oliver - and he ends up taking him home.
He also recognizes that Oliver looks just like a woman who is in a portrait that hangs in his home. Plot of Oliver Twist Bill Sikes and Nancy snatch Oliver and bring him back to Fagin.
Oliver is not any better at burglarizing than he used to be (he's supposed to help Sikes rob somebody). He's terrible at pickpocketing; he's terrible at burglary. and finally, he ends up getting shot while Sikes escapes.
The victims of the crime take pity on Oliver; they think he doesn't seem like such a bad kid. This time it's Rose and Mrs. Maylie, who are those two other good characters.
Oliver has a great time with them; they take care of him. But, Fagin is still after Oliver.
Around this time, Oliver's mother had left him a gold locket.
This is where Monks comes in. He apparently had found the locket and had thrown it in the river so Oliver would never know it existed.
Nancy, who might just be a prostitute with a heart of gold, tells Rose that Fagin is out to get Oliver (Rose is the person Oliver is now staying with)
But it gets back to Sikes that she squealed. He murders her, and then, while running away from an angry mob of people, he trips and accidentally hangs himself.
Oliver just gets reunited with Mr. Brownlow.
It turns out that Monks (the bad guy) and Oliver actually have the same father. Their father had an affair with Oliver's mother and then died.
He left an inheritance that, apparently, Monks had been trying to keep Oliver from finding out about, and that's why he got rid of the necklace. Mr. Brownlow, though, forces Monks to get Oliver his share.Fagin gets arrested and hanged and the bad Mr. Bumble loses his job and ends up destitute in the same workhouse he once presided over. So, there's justice for everyone.
It turns out that Rose is actually Oliver's aunt.
And the picture Mr. Brownlow had? Well, it turns out that he had been engaged to Oliver's father's sister, but then she died. Plot of Oliver Twist Oliver's parents, Mr. Brownlow and pretty much everybody who is good in London turn out to all be connected to each other.
Then Mr. Brownlow adopts Oliver, and all the kind and honest people head off to the English countryside together.
The English countryside, Dickens implies, is really a better place to be than the dangerous, nasty city. And that's the happy ending we've been waiting all this time for.
It's really no coincidence that Oliver's last name is Twist. His life is full of twists and turns, and he bounces back and forth through all these people in the novel. But he does end up in a nice place. Plot of Oliver Twist Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 1. Mrs. Mann steals from the children in her care, feeding and clothing them inadequately. The Victorian middle class saw cleanliness as a moral virtue, and the workhouse was supposed to rescue the poor from the immoral condition of filth. However, the workhouse in Dickens’s novel is a filthy place—Mrs. Mann never ensures that the children practice good hygiene except during an inspection. Workhouses were established to save the poor from starvation, disease, and filth, but in fact they end up visiting precisely those hardships on the poor.
Furthermore, Mr. Bumble’s actions underscore middle-class hypocrisy, especially when he criticizes Oliver for not gratefully accepting his dire conditions. Bumble himself, however, is fat and well-dressed, and the entire workhouse board is full of fat gentlemen who preach the value of a meager diet for workhouse residents. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 2.Noah Claypole’s relationship with Oliver illustrates Victorian England’s obsession with class distinctions.
The son of destitute parents, Noah is accustomed to the disdain of those who are better off than he. Thus, he is relieved to have Oliver nearby, since, as an orphan, Oliver is even worse off than he is.
Dickens characterizes Noah’s cowardice and bullying as “the same amiable qualities” that are “developed in the finest lord.”
Dickens shows that class snobbery is a universal quality, characteristic of the lowest as well as the highest strata of society.
Moreover, snobbish behavior seems a component of class insecurity.
The poor mercilessly taunt those who are poorer than they, out of anxious desire to distinguish themselves from those who are even worse off in life. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 3. In protesting the parish’s treatment of Oliver, Dickens criticizes the Victorian characterization of the poor as naturally immoral, criminal, and filthy. His principal character, Oliver, after all, is virtuous, good, and innocent.
Although we might expect a criticism of the popular conception of the lower classes to describe many lower-class characters who are essentially good, honest, and hardworking, Dickens does not paint such a simplistic picture. The character of Noah, for example, exhibits the same stereotypes that Dickens satirizes in the first several chapters.
Noah, the son of a drunkard, seems to have inherited all of the unpleasant traits that his father presumably has. Big, greedy, cowardly, ugly, and dirty, Noah is the quintessential Victorian stereotype of the good-for-nothing poor man. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 3.From today’s perspective, Dickens’s characterization of Fagin through Jewish stereotypes is one of the more uncomfortable aspects of Oliver Twist.
Dickens characterizes Fagin as a “very old shrivelled Jew” with a “villainous-looking and repulsive face.”
Victorians stereotyped the Jews as avaricious gold worshippers, and in accordance with that stereotype, Fagin’s eyes “glisten” as he takes out a “magnificent gold watch, sparkling with jewels.”
His wealth is ill-gotten—Fagin obtains it by having others do the thieving for him, and some of those others have even been hanged for doing Fagin’s bidding.
Dickens’s narrator continually refers to him as “the Jew” or “the old Jew,” seemingly making Fagin into a representative for all Jews.
When a Jewish acquaintance later took Dickens to task for his portrait of Fagin, Dickens responded that it reflected nothing other than the fact that a sizable number of the leaders of London thieving rings at the time were Jewish. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 4. Oliver’s experience in the courtroom highlights the precarious position of the poor in the eyes of the law. Mr. Fang is an aptly named representative of the English legal system. The law has fangs ready to devour any unfortunate pauper brought to face “justice.” Without hard evidence or witnesses, and despite Brownlow’s testimony that he does not believe that Oliver is the thief, Mr. Fang convicts Oliver and sentences him to three months of hard labor.
Oliver’s inability to speak at his trial, caused by his exhaustion and sickness, metaphorically suggests the lower class’s lack of political power and ability to voice its own concerns in a public forum.
In 1830s England, the right to vote was based on wealth, so the poor had no say with respect to the law. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 5. In chapter 13-16, it establised a relationship between clothing and identity. The disguise that Nancy wears when she enters the police station reveals key differences between the middle and lower classes in Victorian society.The crowning touch to her disguise is a plainly displayed door key, which marks her as a member of a property-owning class. Because she disguises herself as a middle-class woman, the legal system, in the form of the police station, recognizes her as an individual worth hearing. In the attire of the middle class, she gains both a social voice and social visibility. She becomes an individual rather than a member of the penniless mob.
Just as Nancy assumes a middle-class identity by changing her clothing, Oliver sheds his identity as a orphan pickpocket when he leaves behind his pauper’s clothes. Brownlow purchases an expensive new suit for him. Oliver thus assumes the identity of a gentleman’s son by wearing the clothing of a gentleman’s son. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 6. After he dons his new clothing, Mr. Brownlow asks him what he might like to be when he grows up. At the workhouse, the authorities never even bother to ask Oliver his opinion on the matter of his apprenticeship.
In Victorian England, even more than today, an individual’s profession determined a large part of his or her identity.
The fact that no one at the workhouse asks for Oliver’s opinion regarding his apprenticeship shows, once again, how much he is denied the right to define himself.
Oliver’s situation symbolically represents the silence of the poor. The poor cannot define their social identity—instead, the empowered classes define the identity of the poor for them.
Oliver and Nancy both gain a voice the moment they shed their pauper clothing. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 7. The fact that Oliver speaks and carries himself with a demeanor that is much more sophisticated than that of the rest of Fagin’s boys suggests that Dickens is using Oliver to show that even when people are born into squalid conditions, they can appreciate goodness and morality.
When the Dodger and Charley pick Brownlow’s pocket, and again when Sikes and Crackit order Oliver into the house, Oliver reacts with shock and horror at the idea of stealing.
He could not have learned it amid the life or death struggles of the workhouse. The Dodger and Charley speak in the slang of street children, using expressions like “scragged,” “rum dog,” “peaching,” and “fogles and tickers.” But Oliver does not understand what such expressions mean.
He himself speaks in proper King’s English: “I would rather go,” “you’re one, are you not?” Because even Mr. Bumble speaks with a comical vulgar accent, Oliver could not have picked up his refined speech patterns from him.
It seems that Oliver’s careful speech is a symptom of his innate moral goodness. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 8. Charles Dickens shows two contrasting kind of theft.
The first one is the real theft –Sikes and Craked who directly steal from other people,
the other one is the hidden theft –Mrs. Corney. Mrs. Corney is a middle class matron of the work house.
She enjoys the luxury than the poor people had. They are crammed into a tiny, unheated spaces, while Mrs. Corney enjoys a room to herself with a blazing fire during the bitterly cold winter. The amenities of her apartment, which draw Mr. Bumble’s eyes and heart in her direction, represent money that would have been more justly spent on the paupers under her care. Thus her lifestyle is based on theft, but, because she is robbing those who have nothing, her theft will never be acknowledged. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 8. The description of Mrs. Corney implies that the middle-class controls conceptions of what is right and what is wrong, since the church officials, intellectuals, and public officers –who have the authority to declare what is right and wrong– are all part of the middle class. With this control, they are able to ignore their own version of thievery –subtly short changing the lower classes –and at the same time condemn the lower class version of thievery –stealing physical objects from the rich.
The middle class’s sense of entitlement and belief that the poor are inherently morally wretched allow its member to easily rationalize the many ways in which they make sure the poor remain so. Analysis, the Society in Oliver Twist 9. Oliver Twist born at the bad environment where the theft and all bad behavior surround him. However, it seems that Oliver is never be tainted, he has pure and good heart. Also at the end of story, Oliver . Charles Dickens uses this to show that vices can be defeated by improving a moral condition of the poor rather than punishing them.
10. At that time, the marriage in Victorian Age was influenced by the economy status. Most of them tried to marry the higher class for economic reasons. They wanted a higher status in the society, so they were looking for a husband/wife from higher economic level. Just like when Rose refused to marry Harry because of some reasons that given by Mrs. Maylie. Mrs. Maylie said she should not marry Harry because Harry came from the same class and he didn’t bring benefits to their family. The point of all this is that Oliver Twist is called a social novel. That means that Dickens uses the story to basically tell his readers what is wrong with England, particularly what was wrong with the treatment of the poor in England. He goes out of his way to characterize these really awful living conditions, like the workhouse that he describes in such detail, the hungry children, the misery, all of that stuff. He's particularly criticizing the Poor Law of 1834, which basically forces those who want government assistance into workhouses. The idea being that it's making them get jobs. Instead of helping people getting back on their feet, they actually end up stuck like prisoners in these workhouses. They can't get out; they're unable to get to a better life. With a character like Mr. Bumble (who's the guy who wouldn't give Oliver any more), Dickens really highlights the hypocrisy and the cruelty of these workhouses. The people who manage them aren't offering charity but exploiting the system and exploiting the poor. Oliver Twist is the story of an innocent young boy who survives a terrible workhouse and a band of pickpockets and encounters murderers and all sorts of other nasty folk. He ends up pretty well off, with nice, compassionate, rich people. It's a social novel, which means Dickens is really criticizing England's treatment of its poor. That's part of the point of the novel. Another point of the novel is for people to read a good story about a kid that things work out for. So, that's Oliver. Conclusion Sources 1. http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/introduction-to-victorian-literature-overview-of-themes-style-and-authors.html
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_literature6. http://www.articlemyriad.com/analysis-common-themes-victorian-poetry/SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Oliver Twist.” SparkNotes LLC. 2003.
7. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/oliver/ .Kaste, Harry. CliffsNotes on Oliver Twist.
8. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/id-104.html .
17. http://www.aboutbritain.com/articles/victorian-society.asp Thank You..