Oliver Twist Analysis

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To what extent does Dickens explore the triumph of good over evil in Oliver Twist?


Charles Dickens has been called a mastermind in the melodramatic structures of his novels, and it is distinctly evident in his novel, Oliver Twist. He raises social issues through fictional representation, rather than the promotion of an idealistic world. The content of the novel highlights the abuses and harsh reality in the workhouses after the New Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834.

Dickens establishes pathos and irony in the opening of the novel to highlight the idea of life and death, where Oliver Twist is born, and his mother passes away. The symbolism behind life and death is stressed throughout the novel, as children are born pure
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Through the portrayal of different characters in the story, Dickens has created situations where good triumphs over evil. Therein, he has rightfully given credence to the kindhearted characters to establish the presence of good within the evil London community in the eighteen…show more content…
Dark humour is incorporated to show that children are used as chimney sweepers and Dickens’ choice of “I suppose he’s fond of chimney-sweeping?” shows how child labour is used for the most dangerous and hardest labour required roles. The well off parish beadle treats children as an object of amusement, and jokes about child labour in a comedic manner. The reader is left to sympathize with the victim, Oliver, as the obscenity of the working conditions is hidden using black humour. Additionally, children are constantly occupied with interminable working tasks, making the discovery of their social identity and freedom in their lifestyle choices extremely arduous. “There is a case for reading it [OT] as one of Dickens 's 'dark ' novels, as if it were a terrifying nightmare in which Oliver searches for his own identity and for hope and purpose in life, and yet one in which all the most forceful scenes are of guilt, loneliness, and betrayal.”
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