Oliver Twist

Dickens’s Criticisms of Commerce

In writing Oliver Twist, it is clear that Charles Dickens’s main literary objective was to expose the plight of the poor in Victorian London. The story of Oliver is comparable to other Victorian novels, such as Jane Eyre, in its strong didactic message regarding the oppression of a certain demographic. In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte pleaded for the rights of women to be recognized, while in Oliver Twist Dickens gives a voice to the poverty-stricken. Through difficult yet realistic scenes, the author reveals what was truly happening to the poor and who was responsible for this grim reality. The theme that pervades the novel is that the poor continue to be destitute not because of the nature of their birth, but because the upper classes fail to appropriate the aid for which their positions have made them responsible. Dickens suggests that those blessed with wealth have a duty to the poor. This duty, through most of the novel, is shirked, thus perpetuating the troubles of the poor - Oliver Twist included. It is not until the affluent use their resources to care for those who have none that the plot is resolved. Through this conclusion, Dickens speaks to his readers, boldly declaring that the poor will remain so until the rich...

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