Society’s Attitude Towards Under Privileged Children in the Novel Oliver Twist

3983 Words 16 Pages
Society’s Attitude Towards Under Privileged Children in the Novel Oliver Twist

‘Oliver Twist’ is one of Charles Dickens most enduringly popular novels. Best known for his host of distinctively cruel, comic and repugnant characters, Charles Dickens remains the most widely read of the Victorian novelists. ‘Oliver Twist’, a meek, mild young boy, is born in the workhouse and spends his early years there until, finding the audacity to ask for more food, “Please, sir, I want some more.” he is made to leave. Oliver represents the underprivileged children in this novel. Dickens shows us society’s attitude towards Oliver and the under privileged children, they were abused, beaten and “brought up by hand.” ‘Oliver Twist’ is a criticism
…show more content…
Oliver’s birth is symbolic of his life. His whole life is a struggle. His birth begins a life that is a long tale of woes. His ill treatment in the branch workhouse was one more phase in his life of
“sorrow and trouble”. His mother dies during childbirth because medicine was not quite advanced at the time and so the child becomes an orphan. “once- a parish child-the orphan of a workhouse-the humble, half starved drudge- to be cuffed and buffeted through the world- despised by all, and pitied by none.” Authorities at the workhouse send Oliver to a branch-workhouse for “juvenile offenders against the poor-laws.” “without the inconvenience of too much food or too much clothing.” Dickens shows us the cruel system and how harsh their treatment was on the children as they were “brought up by hand”. The overseer, Mrs. Mann, receives an adequate sum for each child’s upkeep, but she keeps most of the money and lets the children go hungry, sometimes even letting them die. Hunger was a part of their life and a meal of their gruel left the children with hunger as their “bowls never wanted washing”. Mrs. Mann was an elderly woman who conducted an infant farm. “A woman of wisdom and experience; she knew what was good for children,” so of the funds provided for their sustenance “she appropriated the greater part of the weekly stipend to her own use.”
She had an indifferent and callous attitude to wards the orphans. Two little boys just like Oliver
Open Document