Of The Welfare System In Oliver Twist, Or The Parish Boy's Progress?

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Oliver Twist, or The Parish Boy 's Progress is Charles Dickens’ second novel and was published between 1837–1839 as a serial. The novel describes the journey of young Oliver Twist an Orphan, who starts his life in a workhouse and eventually flees to London, in the hope of a better life, where he is recruited by Fagin, an elderly jewish criminal, who is leading a gang of juvenile pickpockets.
In Oliver Twist, Dickens broaches the issue of several contemporary topics of the Victorian era, such as the mob mentality, the helplessness of children and institutional cruelty. When it comes to state cruelty particularly, the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, generally known as the New Poor Law and with it the establishment of the workhouse as the bases of the welfare system of the Victorian United Kingdom is criticized by Dickens in his first example of a social novel.
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Therefore I am going to first show Dickens’ own impression of the workhouse and his experience with the welfare system, which influenced his descriptions in Oliver Twist. This novel was partly published in protest of the passage of the Poor Law Amendment Act, an act to reduce costs of the poverty relief system in England and Wales. The next thing I would like to focus on are Dickens’ descriptions of the workhouse and the flaws of the welfare system in Oliver Twist, before looking at the shame of the relief takers and the enabling of criminal

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