Oliver Twist: The Life Of an Orphan Child During Victorian England

1021 Words 5 Pages
Depending on wealth or social class, children's lives during the Victorian era greatly differ from children's lives today. Some greatly distinct examples include: child labor, health and safety, and overall living conditions. The novel Oliver Twist written by Charles Dickens, provides evidence as well as support to the statements above regarding children during the Victorian era.
“I shall begin with the foundling hero, whose illegitimate birth in a workhouse many Victorians evidently read as a prelude to the boy's almost certain misfortune and descent into crime” (Paroissien). Oliver Twist's birth was a rather tragic one, as his mother passed away almost immediately after. Oliver 's father was also no where to be found, therefore was labeled an orphan and was sent to live in a workhouse, where many orphans during Victorian England grew up.
“"Please, sir, I want some more."
... "What!" said the master at length, in a faint voice.
"Please, sir," replied Oliver, "I want some more." (Dickens 10)
Oliver's request reveals the material neglect (abuse, hunger, and poverty) of children in
Dickens's time, when so many went wanting. In Oliver's world of deprivation, labour, and
illiteracy, a world where he is often simply trying to survive, adults can be ridiculous,
pompous figures” (Gibson).
Children, especially orphans, were viewed more as objects rather than actual human…