Literary Criticism of Oliver Twist Essay

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Literary Criticism of Oliver Twist Charles Dickens shows notable amounts of originality and morality in his novels, making him one of the most renowned novelists of the Victorian Era and immortalizing him through his great novels and short stories. One of the reasons his work has been so popular is because his novels reflect the issues of the Victorian era, such as the great indifference of many Victorians to the plight of the poor. The reformation of the Poor Law 1834 brings even more unavoidable problems to the poor. The Poor Law of 1834 allows the poor to receive public assistance only through established workhouses, causing those in debt to be sent to prison. Unable to pay debts, new levels of poverty are created. Because…show more content…
Dickens witnesses an injustice happening in England's workhouses and works to make society's views of the abuse of children change, but "by this time, the horrors of the workhouse were so established in the English scene that they were destined to become part of the British social legend...total degradation" (Gold 25). Because of the Poor Law of 1834, the young children suffered more than the able bodied benefited so through Dickens' career, he becomes preoccupied with the use and abuse of the Poor Laws. Through biting satire, stock characters, humor and pathos, Dickens explores the relationships between the paupers and the masters of the workhouse in Oliver Twist. Satire is used to portray the cruelty, sufferings, and injustice in the workhouses especially through Mr. Bumble, Mrs. Corney, and Oliver, stock characters that play a significant role in the message of child abuse in the workhouses. Through these characters and their actions, Dickens is able to reveal how ordinary workhouse masters treat their paupers. Mr. Bumble and Mrs. Corney are stereotypes of the heartless employers who overuse their power on the workhouse children. Mr. Bumble is the corrupt representative of an evil, unjust system but in the novel, Dickens also shows humor through this character. Mr. Bumble brings humor through many petty actions such as the courtship between Mrs. Corney and him. That scene is a humorous interval, which contrasts with life in the workhouse, but

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