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Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

  

by Charles Dickens

 Table of Contents

Oliver Twist Themes

Oliver Twist Themes

Society and Class

"Society and Class" is one of the central themes of most Dickens novels. In Oliver Twist, Dickens often shows how superficial class structures really are—at the core, everyone’s really the same...

Poverty

Workhouses, filthy quarters, despair: Dickens is very concerned with showing just how miserable the lower classes really were in 19th Century London. With Oliver Twist, he doesn’t shy away from d...

Criminality

Crime was a huge problem in London in the 1830s, when Dickens was writing. Novels and plays about crime were hugely popular. Some novelists wrote about crime because they had a particular point to...

Religion

Organized, institutionalized religion—especially the Church of England—gets a pretty bad rap in this novel. Dickens was Anglican himself, but he felt like the Church was too impersonal and inst...

Contrasting Regions

In Oliver Twist, London itself seems to be part of the overall system of control that threatens and entraps Oliver at every turn. The streets are like a filthy labyrinth—once you turn wrong, it...

Fate and Free Will

Some characters in this novel are liberated and live happily ever after. Others aren’t able to escape the "labyrinth" that the city, their social class, and the systems of justice and religion se...

Literature and Writing

The theme of "Literature and Writing" is a biggie in any novel in which the writer pauses here and there to comment on the act of writing. Dickens remarks on his own writing and storytelling, but a...

Identity

This novel is all about mistaken identities. Many characters don't know where their parents are, or even who their parents are. Names are supposed to be society’s main marker for identity—the w...

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