Essay on Social Reform In Charles Dicke

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Social Reform in Dickens

     In Oliver Twist and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, both main characters refuse to except the poor hand the world has dealt them. Pip and Oliver reach a great epiphany in regards to social injustice, and in turn rebel against the system that oppresses them. They are tired of being mistreated and neglected, and thusly decide to make a stand. Charles Dickens exhibits to us through Oliver and Pip that the revolt of the weak against the strong results from the oppression of the rich caste. As a result of their revolt against the system, Pip and Oliver are ostracized for their non-conformist ideals. Thus change in an oppressing and conformist society can only be achieved through
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Joe Gargery. On one occasion 'I soon found myself getting heavily bumped from behind in the nape of the neck and the small of the back, and having my face ignominiously shoved against the wall, because I did not answer those questions at sufficient length'; (12, ch. 2). This anguish inflicted by the hands of his sister resulted in Pip distancing himself from any ties with his family. Thus his independence grew as a direct result of the abuse he had faced.

     In both novels the main characters have to escape from harsh living conditions and evil surroundings which in turn forces them to grow as individuals, and become independent from a conformist society. Oliver finds himself residing in an orphanage that is dark and sordid. As well he finds himself in London's lowest slums, such as the pickpockets hideout, the surrounding streets, and the bars, which are all described as dark, gloomy, and bland. The city is described as a maze which involves a 'mystery of darkness, anonymity, and peril';(56, ch. 7). These horrific conditions do not keep Oliver down, but foster a need for growth inside him. Pip also is forced to live in conditions that are unattractive and unappealing. Miss Havisham's house is often made to sound depressing, old, and lonely. Many of the objects within the house had not been touched or moved in many years. Cobwebs were clearly visible, as well as an abundance of dust, and even the wedding

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