Essay on Dickens' Attitude Towards Charity in Oliver Twist

3808 Words 16 Pages
How does Dickens portray his attitude to charity in the

Opening chapters of Oliver Twist

The novel Oliver Twist was written by Charles Dickens in the mid
1930’s. Society in the mid 1800’s had a huge gulf between the rich and the poor, This was because before 1834, the cost of looking after the poor was growing more expensive every year. This cost was paid by the middle and upper classes in each town through their local taxes. There was a real suspicion amongst the middle class and upper classes that they were paying the poor to be lazy and avoid work. This made a divide between the rich and the poor, this was because the middle and upper class people did not want to be paying for the lower class people with there hard
…show more content…
These workhouses were little more than a prison for the poor. Charles Dickens showed his own attitude on the poor law in sarcasm and personification.

“Although I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in a workhouse, is in itself the most fortunate and enviable circumstance that can possibly befall a human being.”

Here Dickens is being sarcastic he saying that it couldn‘t be considered good being born into a work house. Dickens thought on the charity were that it was not a fair process the poor were human to and did not deserve to be treated in such ways, as a whole Dickens thought the poor law was a good idea but was never used correctly, the poor were treated as if they had done something wrong, they were never treated properly.

“Oliver had been surrounded by careful Grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses, and Doctors of profound wisdom, he would have most inevitably and indubitably have been killed in no time”

Again Dickens is using sarcasm to get the point across that the,
Doctors, nurses, Grandmothers and aunts, didn’t care about the people they were helping this was just a job they were getting paid and that was all that mattered to them.

The Charity’s were said to be,

“a kindly generosity and helpfulness, especially aid given to those in need an institution which gives help to those in need.”

Although this was not the case. The workhouses made to look uninviting. The unions paid for the cheapest labour o help

Related Documents