Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, and Term Paper

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Charles Dickens, "Oliver Twist," "Nicholas Nickleby," and "A Christmas Carol." Specifically, it will discuss the use of prevalent themes throughout the three novels. There are many themes present in these three works by Charles Dickens, from good vs. evil to the plight of London's children and good triumphing in the end. However, the main theme in these three novels is industrialization and the urbanization of society, and each novel represents "modern times" in Dickens day, and the way the poor were treated in a continually industrializing society.

Each of these touching and classic Dickens' novels is the story of triumph over evil, but they all also chronicle the life of the poor in England's increasingly mechanized and industrialized society of the 1800s. In "Oliver Twist," Dickens portrays the fate of many orphans who were forced to work for their keep even at young ages. Actually, the "poor laws" forced entire families to break up and fend for themselves, as this historian notes, "Forced to leave their homes and sell their possessions, many families found themselves unable to get out of the workhouse once they were in it (and they were separated, with husbands, wives, and children sent to different places)" (Glancy 42). Dickens' hoped to make the plight of the poor more well-known and understood with all three of these books, and "Oliver Twist," which first appeared in serialized form, really did bring the plight of the poor home to the world's readers.

The book also shows the great disparity between the rich and the poor in English society. Oliver's life with Fagin and the Artful Dodger is a life of filth, poverty, and hunger, while his life with his real-life aunt Rose, and his father's dear friend Mr. Brownlow.
Oliver is torn between the two lives, but it is clear that the Brownlow's home is far removed from the life of most poor Londoners, and Oliver's eventual triumph, while happy and sentimental, only illustrates just how far the poor really had to go to drag themselves out of poverty and into the middle class. It was nearly impossible for them, and Dickens wanted to world to know of their suffering at the hands of a modern mechanized society.

Christmas Carol" continues this theme of modernization and societal woes. The story, while celebrated as a classic tale of Christmas cheer, is really a commentary on England's social and urban history. When Dickens wrote the book, celebrating the Christmas holidays was just coming into fashion again after years of religious repression. "Dickens wanted to bring such a celebration to his poor city readers through the writing of 'A Christmas Carol,' and the book coincided with other signs that by the 1840s, Christmas was once again becoming more widely celebrated" (Glancy 58). While the book encouraged Christmas cheer, it also illustrated the businessman of the time, who was ruthless with his employees and stingy with his wages. "It's not my business,' Scrooge returned. 'It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly'" ("Carol" 21). Workers streamed into the city from the countryside looking for available jobs, and the jobs, because of the emerging….....

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