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domingo, 26 de octubre de 2014

OLIVER TWIST and the Victorian England.

Oliver Twist, subtitled The Parish Boy's Progress, is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens, published  in 1838. The story is about an orphan, Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets. Naïvely unaware of their unlawful activities, Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer, Fagin.

It is a very good example of a social novel becaus it calls the public´s attention to different problems people began to be aware of in those times: child labour, recruitment of children as criminals, the difference between the rich and the poor, women´s role in society and so on.

Oliver Twist has been the subject of numerous films and television adaptations. A recent example is the film by Roman Polansky in 2005. Watch the trailer and draw your own conclusions.

Excerpt from Chapter 1. Being born in a workhouse!

 Analyse Victorian Stereotypes about the poor after reading and listening to this extract. What does this extract talk about and what can we learn about the period? Connect it with what we have read from chapter 2.
 What is a workhouse is how is this important for Oliver´s personality and his further development?

Below you have some quotations from the novel. These quotes make reference to some topics presented in class,  read them and try to explain them.

"...and what an excellent example of the power of dress young Oliver Twist was. Wrapped in the blanket which had hitherto formed his only covering, he might have been the child of a nobleman or a beggar; - it would have been hard for the haughtiest stranger to have fixed his station in society. But now he was enveloped in the old robes, that had grown yellow in the same service; he was badged and ticketed, and fell into his place at once - a parish child - the orphan of a workhouse - the humble, half-starved drudge - to be cuffed and buffeted through the world, depised by all, and pitied by none"

"... so the established the rule that all poor people should have the alternative of being starved by a gradual process in the house, or by a quick one out of it. With this view, they contracted with the waterworks to lay on an unlimited supply of water, and with a corn-factor to supply periodically small quantities of oatmeal, and issued three meals of thin gruel a day, with an onion twice a week and half a roll on Sundays. They made a great many other wise and humane regulations... kindly undertook to divorce poor married people... instead of  compelling a man to support his family, as they had theretofore done, took his family away from him, and made him a bachelor! There is no saying how many appliants for relief, undr these last two heads, might have started up in all classes of society, if it had not been coupled with the workhouse; but the board were long-headed men and had provided for this difficulty. The relief was inseparable from the workhouse and the gruel, and that frightened people"

" The houses on either side were high and large, but very old; and tenanted by people of the poorest class.... A great many of the tenements... which had become inseure from age and decay, were prevented from falling into the street by huge beams of wood which were reared against the tottering walls, and firmly planted in the road; but even these crazy dens seemed to have been selected as the nightly haunts of some houseless wretches, for many of the rough boards which supplied the place of door and window, were wrenched from their positions to afford an apertude wide enough for the passage of a human body. The kennel was stagnant and filthy; the very rats that here and there lay putrefying in its rottenness, were hideous with famine"

Do you want to know more about Charles Dickens and the Victorian period?
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16 comentarios:

María Blanco de Diego dijo...

The first quote talks about the unfortune destiny that Oliver has for being born in the workhouse. It also makes reference to the poor conditions of live that he had due to his orphan condition.
The second extract refers to the treat hat the people living in a workhouse received: how were the meals organized and the painful conditions the families had to support.
The third and last one reflects the bad conditions that the cities had in general at that time and how some homeless people took advantage of the beams of wood which sustained the houses to have an improvised shelter.

Ángel Benítez Gómez dijo...

Chapter 1 is an introduction to Oliver Twsit's life. It tells us that a surgeon attended Oliver's birth and how his mother died after she kissed her newborn son's forehead. The author says that if during that brief time, Oliver had been surrounded by careful grandmothers and experienced nurses and doctors, he inevitably would have been killed.

The first quotation shows the division in the society of Victorian England. Since he was born, Oliver was badgeg as a parish child, an orphan of a workhouse and that during his life, he would be ignored and despised by everyone and pitied by no one.

The second quotation tells us about the bad living conditions people had in workhouses. It describes the horrible meals people had and their "awards": onion twice a week and a small piece of bread on Sundays. It also says that families were separated so a man couldn't be with his wife or child.

The third quotation presents a description of the houses in England where people used to live. They were old and were expected to fall soon. Some doors were replaced with boards and rats lived together with humans.

Ángel Benítez Gómez 4ºD

Pablo Amor de Miguel dijo...

The first quotation talks about the situation of Oliver during his whole life, because of his position in the society. Oliver has been born in the orphan of a workhouse, so he is a parish child. He is dressed in old robes and, as it is said in the last two sentences, during his adult life, he will be cuffed and buffeted through the world, depised by all, and pitied by none. This is due to the social inequalities of the Victorian Period.

The second text is about the inhuman alimentary conditions people have in the workhouse. I think, the first part of this text is trying to say that those regulations with water and meals, were due to the social class poor people belonged to. As they are poor, and we are giving them "food" and "water", it does not matter if we are giving them rubbish to eat, we are just doing the right thing.
The second part of this text, tell us that families who came into the workhouse, were separated and obligated to get divorced. Maybe because with this, they could afford mantainig the horrible living conditions of peope, and the husband could not support and fight for their family.

And finally, the last paragraph describes the London of that period. The high an old houses were going to fall down if they were not helped by beams of wood which became the nightly haunts of housless people. With them, the filthiness of the streets, the putrefying rats and the famine, were the heart of the great empire of the world at that time.

Pablo Amor de Miguel 4º ESO D

Roberto Nano dijo...

Chapter 1.
This first chapter said to the reader how Oliver Twist´s life was. He was a parish child and he lived in a workhouse,in a very poor conditions.

Chapter 2.
This second chapter said all the food that the poor people in the workhouse had.
They eat and they drink water in a few quantities.
They had to administrate the food and the water wery well because if they don´t administrate,they will die.

Chapter 3.
The third chapter said to the reader a descripcion of an England neighborhood.
How the houses were(it were high and large,but very old) and it said also that it were rats in putrefaisation
and it smells very bad.

Roberto Aragonés Diez de la Cortina 4ºD.

sonny dijo...

Chapter 1
Talks about the life of Oliver Twist , the old clothes that he used to wear, and the horrible conditions in which poor people used to live in the victorian period.
Chapter 2
This chapter talks about the food that poor people were given in the workhouses, the food was disgusting but it was the onl thing that they have to survive.
Chapter 3
In this chapter the author explains how London was at the time, the huge and large houses, but really old, in which homeless people had to sleep to avoid sleeping on the street.
Sonia Díaz González 4 D

raul dijo...

The first quotation make reference to the bad consition in wich Oliver Twist lived and the unfortunate destiny for him.
The second quotation tells us about the bad living conditions of people in the workhouse and about the terrible meals people had to eat. It also tells us that the people who were married and had family were separated.
The third quotation is a description of Eenglan in that period, it describes houses and all the bad condition and it also tells us that smells really bad and famines may appeared.

Raúl Brasero Palomo 4ºD

Izabela Bommersbach dijo...

Talks about the form of life that Oliver Twist had and about where Oliver was born,(in the orphan of a workhouse, that´s why he was a parish child).

In the second chapter we can read how bad were the alimentary conditions in the workhouse and how were the meals organized.

And the last chapter describes how the houses were and in which conditions, (in London) at that time.

Izabela Klaudia Bommersbach 4ºD.

bea bag dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
gonzaatleti99 dijo...

Chapter 1.
Dickens shows his ideals. "everyone is born equal but inherits the way of living of his envirnoment" That's why he says in his birth, he would have been like a rich son only if he had been covered by new clothes instead of the old, broken ones he had. That's a sign on how he would live in the future. He was condemned to poverty
Chapter 2
He uses irony to show the situation: children had the choice of suffering extreme hunger inside a workhouse or starving out in the middle of the street. The idea of the workhouses as a help or right to children makes Dickens (and any person with common sense) sick. He uses this examples to do a political protest on how the world is under a huge paralelism. The biggest economic power in the time was becoming even richer but the lower classes, the forgotten, the naive ,poor people were drowning in the hugest misery, condemned to pay the economic growth of a country that thought they deserved to be poor, as they thought they were lazy loosers
The towns in which the poor classes lived were formed by homes (most probably inherited from their families) which were old and fraguile. the walls were kept stable with the help of wood sheets which were used in the night by homeless' to keep from the cold nights.

bea bag dijo...

In this quotation the narrator explains how Oliver's life was. He was born in the orphan of a workhouse, so he was a parish child. He lived in very bad conditions, with old and dirty clothes. The narrator also talks about the soacial inequalities in the Victorian period, telling that Oliver's adult life woudn't be so good.

In this quotation it's trying to be explained the inhumane conditions in workhouses, specially in the mealtimes. The narrator explains that this people in charge of the workhouses gave bad food and water (except on Sundays and when they gave them half an onion per week) to poor people and thought they were doing right. He also says that families were separated and the man of the family couldn't do nothing for his family.

In this quotation it is explained how London was in this Victorian period. The streets were almost full of poor people and the houses were very old. They were expected to fall down soon, and homeless people slept inside of this houses so they didn't have to spend the night on the street. Rats literally lived with humans, and London was almost a putrefying city.

Beatriz Avelar Garfias. 4ºD

Mon monde dijo...

In the Chapter 1 (The Workhouse)is about the Oliver Twist's life, he was an orphan of a workhouse and it said the poor conditions of his clothes and his live: a parish child. During his live he would be despited by everyone and pited by no one.

Chapter 2 (The Board)talks about the inhuman conditions of food people had in the workhouse(an onion twice a week and half a roll on Sundays) but they thought that they were doing it in the right way, because they were giving food and water to poor people, did not matter that it was smaller quantities. The families which come there were obligated to get divorced so for this the husband could not fight for their family conditions in the house.

Chapter 3(Victorian London and Life in cities) describe the Victorian Period in England. The high and large houses, and very old too. Where the smell was the rats putrefaisation and if people did not sleep there they had to sleep on streets.

Marta Baz 4D

Yago Calvo dijo...


The first quotation talks about how children were treated according to the social class they belonged in the case of oliver he is treated in a very bad and violent way as he belongs to the lower class of Victorian society.


The second quotation talks about how victorian society saw poor people, how they were treated, the works they had...
In these paragraph the authotr talks in first person in order to make us see what he thinks of these situation.


The third and final one describes were and how the lower calss left.
we can see thart they left in very harsh conditions that sometimes cuold cause illnesses and the death of many people.


irene blazquez dijo...

In the first chapter the narrator describe to us how oliver twist's life was. His birth took place in a workhouse, now he was orphan so he is poor and that mean that he is going to have a bad life because if the inequalities of the society.

In the second chapter, he is triying to show us how the alimentary conditions were in the workhouse.And also he is explaining to us thatfamilies in that places couldn't be together, it means that a man couldn't be with his wife or his child they were separated.

and finally in the third one he is describing how the houses of that time were. they were old and he says that if they don't reinforce the houses they will fall down.

Claudia Garcia dijo...

We can see how the Victorian society was.
It explais alsothat Oliver Twist was a parish child, who lived as on orphan in a workhouse. He had a difficult life, the poverty was with him (dressed with old and dirty cloths), as an adult he was punished by everyone.

The limited quantity of food and wáter that por people in the workhouse had. Also, the families were separeted and men´s return to be unmarried.

It describes how the houses of por London were constructd.
It was a mess and a bluder (rats lived with the families so it wasn´t reallu cosy).

Claudia García Corral 4D

Sandra Acosta dijo...

Chapter 1. The Workhouse:
It shows how the society was at the Victorian Period and the inequalities and differences between social classes. It also talks about Oliver Twist's life. He was a really poor orphan which lived at the workhouse since he was born and he also suffered violence at that place during all his childhood.

Chapter 2. The board:
This chapter talks about how was living at the workhouse and the inhumane conditions they had. Families were separated, they couldn't be together and the gave low quality food to the people that were staying there.

Chapter 3. Victorian London and life in the cities:
This chapter describes how London was at the Victorian period. Streets were full of people, houses were really old and rats literally lived with humans. Homeless people used to live at abandoned houses which were expected to be destroyed soon.

Sandra Acosta 4ºD

Adrian Barreno dijo...

The author desbribes the poor living conditions Oliver Twist had, sometimes using irony. He shows us how he had to survive in the workhouse, starving, dressing with rags and without help of anyone.

In this cahapter the author talks ironically about the conditions established at the workhouse, for example, people could choose being hungry in the workhouse, or being starving outside until death. Another regulation was to separate married people to avoid men protecting their families.

In this fragment the author describes the London streets of that Victorian period. The old and poor buildings were occupied by homeless people and the famine let a horrible situation to every creature living on the streets.

Adrián Barreno Sánchez 4ºD