Charles Dickens Novel of the Month – Oliver Twist

Charles Dickens Novel of the Month – Oliver Twist


Natalie Stanton
Natalie Stanton
Charles Dickens Novel of the Month –...

Oliver Twist, or The Parish Boy’s Progress was Charles Dickens’ second novel, following The Pickwick Papers, and was published as a serial in the magazine Bentley’s Miscellany between 1837 and 1839. It has been adapted into award-winning films, television and musicals. The orphaned Oliver is brought up in a harsh workhouse, before meeting the Artful Dodger and being taken in and exploited by the criminal Fagin. Oliver finds himself on the dark streets of Victorian-era London and part of a rough gang of urchins. Oliver is treated with cruelty for most of his life but eventually finds salvation and the shocking discovery of his true identity. For anyone wishing to read a Victorian text, Oliver Twist is an essential title.

Interesting Fact: Oliver Twist was written as a response to an inhumane law called ‘Poor Law’ which was passed in Parliament in 1834. The law broke up families, closed parish poorhouses, and required that the poor live in workhouses and work at forced labour. These workhouses were seen more like prisons so Oliver Twist helped expose their evils to an unknowing public.

Suggestion: This is another excellent read for Year 10 Bushey Meads Students. It will help with wider reading of Charles Dickens and a deeper understanding of class and social division.

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