Oliver Twist Multicultural Paper

1614 Words 7 Pages
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens is a fictional story based in London during the 1800’s. Oliver Twist, an orphaned child, is forced to live in a workhouse where he is abused, starved, and given away as an apprentice. Eventually Oliver turns to a life on the streets, living with a gang of orphaned children. Charles Dickens depiction of the workhouse conditions is considered very accurate according to historians. The conditions were horrible and unfit for humans. Poor people were not valued and were considered a blight on society. It was morally acceptable to treat them as less than human and to abuse and starve them. Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. His father was imprisoned as a debtor when Dickens was only 12 years old. …show more content…
(Higginbotham, 2005).It was decided that workhouses would be used instead of the upper and middle class donating food and clothing to the needy. The horrible conditions were used as a deterrent so that only the extremely desperate would turn to them for relief. Oliver Twist, the main character in the book, was sent to live in a juvenile workhouse until he was 9 years old. The conditions in the workhouse were deplorable just as they were in real life. “Where twenty or thirty other juvenile offenders against the poor-laws, rolled about the floor all day without the inconvenience of too much food or too much clothing, under the parental superintendence of an elderly female (Dickens) Mrs. Mann, Oliver’s caretaker, was given a pension for each child that was more than enough to feed and care for them appropriately. Instead she opted to use the money for her own wants and strategically starved the children to see how little each could live on. Charles Dickens states in Oliver Twist that eight out of ten of these children would die of neglect or starvation. “the pale and unhealthy appearance of a number of children in the workhouse, in a room called the Infant Nursery. These children appear to be from two to three years of age; they are 23 in number;

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