Social Reform in Charles Dicke Essay

904 Words Dec 17th, 1999 4 Pages
Social Reform in Dickens

In Oliver Twist and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, both main characters refuse to except the poor hand the world has dealt them. Pip and Oliver reach a great epiphany in regards to social injustice, and in turn rebel against the system that oppresses them. They are tired of being mistreated and neglected, and thusly decide to make a stand. Charles Dickens exhibits to us through Oliver and Pip that the revolt of the weak against the strong results from the oppression of the rich caste. As a result of their revolt against the system, Pip and Oliver are ostracized for their non-conformist ideals. Thus change in an oppressing and conformist society can only be achieved through change in moral, social,
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Oliver finds himself residing in an orphanage that is dark and sordid. As well he finds himself in London’s lowest slums, such as the pickpockets hideout, the surrounding streets, and the bars, which are all described as dark, gloomy, and bland. The city is described as a maze which involves a “mystery of darkness, anonymity, and peril”(56, ch. 7). These horrific conditions do not keep Oliver down, but foster a need for growth inside him. Pip also is forced to live in conditions that are unattractive and unappealing. Miss Havisham’s house is often made to sound depressing, old, and lonely. Many of the objects within the house had not been touched or moved in many years. Cobwebs were clearly visible, as well as an abundance of dust, and even the wedding dress, which Miss Havisham constantly wore, had turned yellow with age. Pip was forced to live in this lonely house that had been a product of an evil society. This left Pip wanting to change, he was unwilling to become like the place he had grown up in.

Another similarity between the two novels is the fact that both Oliver and Pip have been dealt a poor hand that does not allow for a meaningful existence. Since both characters are pure and innocent spirits the need for a real life…

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