Charles Dickens Exposes the Dangers and Horrors of Victorian London in Oliver Twist

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Charles Dickens Exposes the Dangers and Horrors of Victorian London in Oliver Twist All of Charles Dickens novels are set in the period he wrote them in and contain certain points of social and political beliefs that he highlighted with the desire to change his audience's views, on mainly the poor, but also all those that were treated unjustly because of laws and stereotypes. 'Oliver Twist' is the story of a young orphan who is the illegitimate son of two good people. It shows the attempts of a collection of villainous characters to break his hereditary kind-heartedness and innocence. This is to benefit them through his considerable, unknown inheritance that they have found out about. However, behind the story Dickens hides messages raising the issues of the terrible conditions of the workhouses and the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, the abuse and exploitation of children, poverty, crime, inequality, prejudice towards different religions and nationalities and ignorance to the existence of some physical disabilities and mental illnesses. The poor law act was a typical example of a whig-benthamite reformation legislation of the Victorian period. That is to say it follows Bentham's theory of segregation. It gained general parliamentary support and was passed with considerably less consideration and discussions as was normal when new laws are proposed. It ensured that conditions in the workhouses were as vile and uncomfortable as possible so that only the truly destitute would even consider submitting. It also implied that the poor were only in that state because they were lethargic and were therefore named the 'undeserving poor' w... ... middle of paper ... ...angry as he is enraged by his crime. As his terror leads him to his rage he strikes out on the disfigured body. That description tells us that his emotions are out of his control. His temper is unrestrained and he is liable to act in a way that relieves his anxiety. With people like Sykes in London it is worrying to think what may happen. After studying 'Oliver Twist' the reader gains understanding of the true horrors that exist in Victorian London. They discover key facts about the behaviour of the underworld inhabitants through Dickens techniques such as similes, pathos, adjectives, and choice of words. These techniques helped in showing the reader why life was so horrific in that time by building up images so the reader can almost see and smell and use other sense to understand the world that Dickens lived in.

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