Oliver Twist: Effects of Social Class

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The Novel Oliver Twist is one of Charles Dickens' most well known and loved works. The central character, Oliver, has been seen for generations as a symbol of innocence in a corrupt world.It is important to note that many of the themes that Dickens explored are pertinent not only to his time but to our modern world as well. The themes of Oliver Twist, such as innocence versus evil, are reflected in the main character and the other characters that he encounters. The themes of this book also include the effects of social class and the way that the society of the time was unjust and cruel in many respects.
In the book Oliver is an orphan whose mother died in childbirth. He spends thefirst few years of his life on a'baby farm' but is sent to work in a workhouse at the age of nine, run by Mr. Bumble, the parish beadle. Oliver and the other children in the workhouse are poorly treated and continually hungry. When Oliver is persuaded to ask for more food, there is a terrible outcry from the authorities. Oliver's simple request – "”Please, sir, I want some more.” – receives a furious and uncalled for response from the master. " The master aimed a blow at Oliver’s head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arms; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.; (Oliver Twist) That an innocent and hungry child should be refused such as simple request underscores the unjustness and cruelty that Dickens reveals in the society of the time.
As a result of his audacious request and his;ungratefulness;, Oliver is;sold; to anyone who will take him and he is involved in a number of experiences in the often unfeeling society. A brutal chimney sweep nearly claims Oliver but luckily he is taken in care by the kindly Mr. Sowerberry, an undertaker. Throughout the book we encounter the contrast between good and evil and kindness and cruelty. While Mr. Sowerberry is kind to Oliver, his wife and…