Essay A Lack of Charity

Essay A Lack of Charity

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In Charles Dickens’s books, Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol, the theme of lack of charity is pronounced. Throughout Oliver Twist, society turns a “cold shoulder” to those in need of help (Miller 30). The Victorian England society prohibits inhabitants of the lower social realms from moving up in society. Rarely do lower class members receive attention, and the attention they do receive is far from par (Reeves). Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character of A Christmas Carol, learns to be charitable through a lesson on the true meaning of Christmas. At the beginning of the book, Scrooge is a grumpy old mad, who only cares about himself, but on Christmas Eve, his visions of ghosts turn his life around (Boan).

As a child, Dickens becomes a subject to poverty. When Dickens is twelve years of age, he is sent to work at a warehouse. He is forced to live away from his family for months while his father is in debtors’ prison. Dickens’s life and experiences are his sole inspiration in advocating for the poor ("Charles John Huffam Dickens”). Charles Dickens is responsible for plenty of charitable acts in his lifetime. His books depict his character and his love for people. He is able to sympathize with people struck with poverty because he deals with the same situation in his life. Later in Dickens life, he is gifted with wealth, but never keeps much of the money. He is forced to pay alimony and gives the rest away (Orwell).

Oliver Twist is a parody to the Victorian lifestyle. The upper classes do not care about the lower classes because their main concern is money. At this time in British history, laissez-faire capitalist beliefs dominate people’s political views. According to George Orwell, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “…refused to re...


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...erary Reference Center. EBSCOhost, n.d. 16 Apr 2011.


Miller, J. Hillis. “The Dark World of Oliver Twist.” Modern Critical Views of Charles Dickens. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. 29-69.

NLT Study Bible. Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 2008.

Orwell, George. “Charles Dickens.” George Orwell: Charles Dickens. Orwell.ru, 11 Dec 2004. 16 Apr 2011.

Reeves, Bruce D. “Oliver Twist.” Literary Reference Center. EBSCOhost, n.d. 14 Apr 2011.

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