Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Society and Class

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

Poverty

The theme of "Poverty" is obviously related to the theme of "Society and Class." But while the "Society and Class" theme is concerned with showing how the social class system is basically just inve...

Criminality

Crime was a huge problem in London in the 1830s, when Dickens was writing, just as it is now. Novels and plays about crime were hugely popular. Some novelists wrote about crime because they had a p...

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 imperso...

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...

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 religio...

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, changed names, etc. Many characters don't know where their parents are, or even who their parents are. Names are supposed to be society’s main mar...

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