Theme Of Individualism In Oliver Twist

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Register to read the introduction… Dickens demonstrates, within his novel Oliver Twist, the overall social …show more content…
The Victorian Era was concurrent with the 19th century Industrial Revolution, which was responsible for societies’ shift towards capitalist ideals (“Victorian England” 4). This reallocation towards private owners attaining vast wealth over an open market fostered the overall concept of individualism. The concept of individualism was not only prevalent within business but also within politics, as Dickens notes while working as a Parliamentary reporter in the House of Commons. Dickens depicts the effects of individualism with the character Fagin, who is so concerned with his own self-interests that others who do not impact his illegitimate businesses of theft and prostitution hold little value. Fagin belittles Oliver’s worth saying, “When the boy’s worth hundreds of pounds to me, am I to lose what chance threw me in the way of getting safely, through the whims of a drunken gang that I could whistle away the lives of.” (Dickens 190). Dickens also observed that on many occasions, accompanying this sense of individualism was a corrupt and venal nature. In order to demonstrate the corrupt nature of a plethora of people during the Victorian era, Dickens implements Oliver’s brother, Monks, who plans to keep Oliver’s identity hidden in order to collect a large inheritance. However, Dickens alludes to the idea that purity can be maintained within a corrupt society, with the character Nancy, who risks her life to foil Monks plan by informing Rose, “A bargain was struck with Fagin, that if Oliver was got back he should have a certain sum; and he was to have more for making him a thief, which this Monks wanted for some purpose of his own.” (306). In light of the corruption of the Victorian Era, Dickens acknowledges that there is still the possibility of conserving

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