The plot of the novel “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” is structured in such a way that the focus of the reader’s attention is a boy who is faced with an ungrateful reality. He is an orphan from the first minutes of his life. Oliver was not only deprived of all the benefits of a normal existence, but also grew very lonely, defenseless against an unfair fate.
Since Dickens is a writer of enlightenment, he never focused on the inhuman conditions in which the poor of that time lived. The writer believed that poverty itself was not so terrible as the indifference of other people to this category of people. It was precisely because of such a misperception by society that the poor suffered as they were doomed to eternal humiliation, deprivation, and wandering. After all, work houses, the creation of which was conceived to provide ordinary people with shelter, food, work, rather resembled prisons. The poor were separated from their families and imprisoned there by force, very poorly fed, forced to engage in excessive and useless work. As a result, they simply slowly starved to death.
After the workhouse, Oliver becomes a student of the undertaker and a victim of bullying by the shelter boy Noe Kleipol. The latter, taking advantage of his age and strength, constantly humiliates the main character. Oliver flees and ends up in London. As you know, such street children, whose fate did not bother anyone, for the most part became the dregs of society – vagrants and criminals. They were forced to engage in crime in order to somehow live. And cruel laws reigned there. Boys turned into beggars and thieves, and girls made a living with their bodies. Most often, they did not die a natural death, but ended their life on the gallows. At best, imprisonment awaited them.
They even want to drag Oliver into the underworld. An ordinary boy from the street, whom everyone calls the Artful Dodger, promising the protagonist protection and overnight in London, takes him to the buyer of stolen goods. This is the godfather of local fraudsters and thieves Fejin.
In this crime novel, Charles Dickens simply portrayed the London criminal society. He considered it an integral part of the then life in the capital. But the writer tried to convey to the reader the main idea that the soul of a child is not initially prone to crime. After all, the child, in his view, personifies illegal suffering and spiritual purity. He is simply a victim of that time. The main part of the novel “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” is devoted to this idea.
But along with this, the writer was worried about the question: what affects the formation of the character of a person, the formation of his personality? Natural inclinations and abilities, origin (ancestors, parents) or is it still a social environment? Why does someone become noble and decent, and someone is a vile and dishonorable criminal? Can he not be heartless, cruel and vile? In order to answer this question, Dickens introduces the image of Nancy into the storyline. This is a girl who got into the criminal world at an early age. But this did not prevent her from remaining kind and responsive, capable of showing sympathy. It is she who is trying to prevent Oliver from taking the wrong path.
The social novel of Charles Dickens “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” is a true reflection of the most pressing and burning problems of our time. That is why this work is very popular among readers and has managed to become popular since its publication.