As one of the
world s greatest writers, Charles Dickens has written some of the
greatest classics such as: Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities,
and Oliver Twist. In these works, Dickens often uses past experiences
in his life, and develops a character that goes through the same kind
of struggles. He also uses much satire as comic relief, much like
that of someone who is trying to hide behind a mask of joking. Such
is the case with Oliver Twist.
childhood, Charles Dickens suffered much abuse from his parents.
Oliver Twist, the main character in the novel, while at the
orphanage, also experienced a great amount of abuse. For example,
while suffering from starvation and malnutrition, 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 aimed a
blow at Oliver’s head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arms; and
shrieked aloud for the beadle.”
beginning of Oliver Twist’s story was created from memories which
related to Dickens’ childhood in a blacking factory. While working
in the blacking factory, Dickens suffered tremendous humiliation,
which is expressed through Oliver’s adventures at the orphanage.
lifetime, Dickens appeared to have acquired a drawing towards the
bleak and dreary. Most of Oliver Twist, for example, takes place in
London’s lowest slums. Many of the settings, such as the
pickpocket’s hideout, the surrounding streets, and the bars, are
described as dark, gloomy, and bland. It often appears that Dickens
was extremely depressed and dwelled on the past. If he had looked to
Jesus to break the chains of the past,
similarity between Oliver and Dickens is that they both have had
interactions with convicts. Fagin, the head of a group of young
thieves, spends most of his time trying to corrupt Oliver, which
would later prevent him from ever coming into his rightful
inheritance. To Oliver, Fagin is seen as an escape from all previous
misery. He also helps Oliver to ease any fears about starvation and
loneliness. While at the blacking factory, Charles had a similar
run-in with a theif who enticed him with money and food.
Much satire is
used as a writing technique in the book mainly to emphasize some of
the social injustices that poorer people of that time had to endure.
The use of
personal experience and good writing technique has made Dickens into
the writing legend that he is. As you can see, Dickens use of
personal experience was able to help develop a character that was a
mirror of himself, and was able to create a great story.
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