Any great work caused
To life by spirit and inquiries
Nation, becomes the property of the people.
Dickens’ novel “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” is a work directed not only at showing the cruel and inhuman conditions in which the vast majority of ordinary people lived in England in the 1930s and 1940s, but also for to correct this unjust life or at least once again to attract the attention of the society to it.
The main character of the novel is a little boy named Oliver Twist. Born in a workhouse, he remained an orphan from the first minutes of his life, which meant in his position not only a complete misfortune and deprivation of the future, but also loneliness, insecurity against the grievances and injustice that he would have to endure.
Dickens, as a writer-enlightener, never reproached his unfortunate characters for either poverty or ignorance, but he reproached the society, which denied help and support to those
who were born poorly and therefore from the cradle is doomed to deprivation and humiliation. And the conditions for the poor in that world were truly inhuman.
Workhouses that were supposed to provide ordinary people with work, food, shelter, in fact, looked like prisons: the poor were imprisoned forcibly, parting with their families, forced to do useless and hard work and practically did not feed, condemning them to a slow starvation. No wonder the workers themselves called the workhouses “bastille for the poor.”
When you read a novel, it sometimes seems that the writer – a realist in his desire to show all the vices and flaws of his society, exaggerates the colors too much. In fact, he often softened them, because the reality they saw was even more unthinkable and implausible. Take even an incredibly heavy, monstrous child labor. The children, taken as pupils by a chimney sweep, had to spend many hours a day in the smoky pipes of London houses, being in constant danger of getting stuck or suffocating there. Emaciated by work, beatings and malnutrition, children often died without being
able to get out of the chimney.
Boys and girls, who were unnecessary to anyone, by chance, finding themselves on the streets of the city, often became completely lost to society, as they fell into the criminal world with its cruel laws. They became thieves, beggars, girls began to trade their own bodies, and after that many of them ended their short and unhappy life in prison or on the gallows.
Dickens, like many writers of the time, was concerned with the question: what is the main thing in shaping the character of a person, his personality – the social environment, the origin or his makings and abilities? What makes a person such as he is: decent and noble or mean, dishonest and criminal? And does the criminal always mean mean, cruel, soulless? Answering this question, Dickens creates in the novel the image of Nancy – a girl who got to an early age in the criminal world, but retained a kind, sympathetic heart, the ability to compassion, because she was not in vain trying to protect little Oliver from the evil way.
Thus, we see that Charles Dickens’s social novel “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” is a lively response to the most burning and burning issues of our time. And according to the popularity and appreciation of readers, this novel can rightfully be considered a folk song.