Problems of education in the novel by Charles Dickens “The Adventures of Oliver Twist”

Problems of education in the novel by Charles Dickens “The Adventures of Oliver Twist”

This is the most suitable boy for you.

From time to time it is necessary

To treat with a stick it will go

It’s good for him. And its content

It will not be expensive, because

He was not fattened from birth.

C. Dickens. The Adventures of Oliver Twist

Having come out, the works of Charles Dickens immediately fell into the treasury of world literature, because they reflected many of the acute problems of social life of the XIX century, and in particular – the plight of the common people in England.

The protagonist of the novel is a little boy Oliver Twist, whose school of life has been hard and cruel since birth. Ironically, Oliver was born in a workhouse. His mother died immediately after the birth, no one knew his father.

Therefore, as soon as he was born, he received the status of a criminal or “violator of the law on the poor” and was forced to be brought up by strangers, or, in other words, “was a victim of a system of treachery and deceit.” In infancy, Oliver was placed “on the farm,” where “without suffering from excess food or clothing,” received the precious right to suffering and death, since most of the children in this institution died at the tenderest age.

In the tone of the writer, there is a bitter irony when he tells us about the care that the poor boy who managed to survive on the farm and who was in his nine years “a pale, stunted child, short and undoubtedly skinny”, that is quite fit for hard work.

Rejecting the cruelty of councilors and public trustees, Dickens portrays them as “very wise, shrewd philosophers,” condescendingly giving the poor working houses the right to choose: “either slowly starve to death in a workhouse, or die quickly outside its walls.” The children who came here are doomed to be brought up by beatings, hunger and, naturally, work. The request for a supplement to the miserable portion of liquid porridge that the children received here was equated with a public crime and was cruelly punished. Where, as not in the workhouse,

the English poor from childhood learned to lie, offend the weak, steal, take care only of themselves.

From the doors of this humane orphanage, Oliver opened three roads. One led to the chimney sweepers, where the little boys were forced to spend many hours in dirty smoky pipes, which many of them could not stand, stuck or panting in the workplace. Another road, which, incidentally, had to take advantage of Oliver, led to the “mourners” to the undertaker, where the boy received no less valuable lessons of life in the ability to adapt to the conditions of existence than in the workhouse. And finally, the third road – to the underworld, to the streets belonging to the representatives of the criminal “bottom”, where Oliver Twist continues to be brought up under the strict guidance of the little thieves and the big robber Sykes, as well as the buyer of the stolen Feijin,

However, a realist in describing everyday details, Dickens idealizes his hero, endowing him with an innate virtue that no vices and dirt of the world around him can shake. In difficult moments of life, good people come to the aid of Oliver to help alone: ​​she managed to save a living soul in the inhuman conditions of the criminal world of Nancy, Mr. Brownlow, who adopted Twist afterward, and the kind and merciful Rose Maylie.

With all his heart tied to his little hero, Charles Dickens helps him to withstand all the trials. The book ends safely, but for many pages it forces the reader to think about those unfair laws that promote the achievement of happiness by the elect, while the bulk of the people undergo humiliations, insults, bullying, all kinds of deprivations. And this, of course, is the educational impact of the novel “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” on public consciousness.


Problems of education in the novel by Charles Dickens “The Adventures of Oliver Twist”