‘Twist’ed Outcomes

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Oliver Twist, a novel written by Charles Dickens during the Victorian Era, chronicles the life of a small young boy. Oliver, an orphan grows up in a workhouse in severe and harsh conditions. Placed under the subjugation of the upper class, Oliver is taken for granted to be corrupt and immoral because he is unlearned and poor. However, this stereotype is soon faulted when Oliver turns out to be an innocent and sympathetic boy whose fate is inadvertently tragic. Even with such disadvantages, it is Oliver’s looks of innocence and lack of evil inside him that enables him to rise out from poverty. His innocence is the tool that allows Oliver to escape life at the bottom of society. It is also the trait that brings many people to pity him and help him. With this enhancement, Oliver is able to eventually trace his family lineage and find his place in society. Charles Dickens is protesting in this book that everyone should have a chance to become successful in life; that even criminals should be allowed a second chance to undo their acts and crimes.

When Oliver is first introduced to the mastermind Fagin, he is sent on a mission with the Dodger and Charley Bates to steal a handkerchief from a gentleman. When he fails, the Dodger and Bates flee without the gentleman noticing. Oliver however is caught and sent to the police office to be sentenced by the magistrate. It is only when Oliver is saved by a witness’ confession that the other two boys attempted the theft rather than Oliver himself that he is allowed to be set free. It is only when Mr. Brownlow catches sight of Oliver, impoverished and with a fever that he feels pity for the boy and takes him home. Oliver is only saved because of his innocence that made him an individual comp...

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... mean to commit this crime and therefore was given a second chance by the Maylies and allowed to live a better life.

Throughout the novel, Charles Dickens provides various example of how characters, no matter how badly lived their lives are, have a chance to seek for a better future. He protests through the examples of Mr. Brownlow helping out a lost orphan (Oliver) who happened to stumble across criminals, Nancy helping Oliver out because she doesn’t want Oliver to live a criminal life, and Rose and the Maylies taking Oliver in even though he committed a crime against them. Eventually Oliver is able to find his family lineage when Rose and Mr. Brownlow help him. Because of his innocence, Oliver was able to break his way through the limits society placed upon him and rise out of poverty and break the bonds and rise out of the crime world.
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