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Book Report About Oliver Twist English Literature Essay

1214 words (5 pages) Essay in English Literature

5/12/16 English Literature Reference this

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The title of the book is very easy to explain. It called Oliver Twist because it tells the life story of Oliver. Further reveals the title that the book goes about a certain person called Oliver Twist. However a link from the title to the theme is hard to find in first stand. After reading the book you can link the title to the theme.


The book Oliver Twist was written in the Victorian period(1838). The story took place at the time that their where a lot of social problems in England. (19th century) The social problems are relevant for understanding the story. And his development of the plot. I give you underneath a few examples:

The characteristics found in the book:

– In the book is a big difference between social classes. The rich people are more important and have more power than the poor people. The high social class looks down on the low class. 

For example: when Nancy comes into Rose Maylies house, the people there are disgusted of Nancy and they don’t trust her, because she’s poor and filthy. Also, because Oliver Twist is an orphan and has no money, his future is already determined. He has to live in poverty and work in a workhouse and he can’t do things he likes. The society actually determines everything. 

– Men are superior to women. Men think women only have a couple of purposes. Women can’t have an opinion. In the book, Nancy does everything the men say she has to do, she obeys them. The men look down upon women. So the poor women are the most discriminated. There is a patriarchal society.

– An intrusive author. Charles Dickens sometimes ‘talks’ to you in the book, tells a bit of the story and comments. 

– The setting is realistic and reflects feelings. In the poor neighborhood, there’s almost always rain and mud and dirt but when Oliver Twist is with Rose Maylie, the sun shines and everything seems beautiful and right(because he’s happy).


Oliver Twist is born in a workhouse. Oliver’s mother died when she was giving birth to him so he became an orphan. Oliver spends the first nine years of his life in the orphanage. In the orphanage, they gave him the name Oliver Twist. One day Oliver is sent by Mr. Bumble(a horrible man) to a coffin maker. There he also wasn’t treated well and so he ran away to London. In London he met Nancy, Fagin and Bill Sikes. Bill and Fagin wanted to make a criminal out of Oliver. One day Oliver had to break into a large house with Sikes. They got caught. Bill Sikes and his helper had the chance to ran away. But Oliver who was shot got back to the large house. Rose Maylie took care of him. Meanwhile, Nancy learned about Oliver’s past. She went to Mr. Brownlow (a nice man who had taken care of Oliver before) and Rose to tell them about Oliver’s history. It turned out that Oliver’s identity was found. He had a half-brother with the name Monks. He was a criminal. Monks didn’t want anyone to know that Oliver and He where half-brothers, because otherwise he needed to share the inherited money. Meanwhile, Fagin found out that Nancy had helped Oliver and that she had told everything to Rose and Mr. Brownlow. For that Nancy got killed by her own lover Bill Sikes. After killing Nancy Bill Sikes ran away. The rest of the bad guys and Fagin got caught. Eventually Oliver was adopted by Mr. Brownlow and they bought a house close to Rose.

The Main Theme

I think the main theme is the difference between social classes. A lot of problems with the society occurred back then and everything depended on the fact that you were rich or poor.

Aim of Charles Dickens

This book was written as criticism on the society. Dickens was a social reformer. He shows this in his books, also in Oliver Twist. I think he wanted to point out the problems in the society and that the differences between social classes weren’t right.


The story is told by Charles Dickens. He knows everything about Oliver´s doing and thinking. Charles also comments on certain situations because he was a social reformer. In Oliver Twist Charles uses the perspective of a child to critics the Victorian period.

Important characters

The characters don’t develop a lot on the whole.

– Oliver Twist: he is the main character of the book. Oliver is always good and honest and even though a lot of bad things happen to him, he stays like he always has been, he never steps to the ‘bad side’. He just obeys the men he’s working for, because he’s afraid of them and he doesn’t know what to do, he’s just a child. He doesn’t actually develop a lot in the book. 

Nobody believes he’s a good boy(except for Mr. Brownlow and Rose) but he tries to prove so. ‘ He hoped he could do something to show his gratitude.’

– Nancy: at first she seems like a strong independent woman with her own opinion. It seems like she doesn’t care about a thing but she actually has a lot of feelings and does care about Oliver. That’s why she tries to save him from the bad guys by telling Rose the truth and she took her part for Oliver. Nancy says, for Oliver, to Rose: ‘I am about to put my life and the lives of others in your hand.’

She doesn’t want to be a thief but she can’t leave Sikes and she thinks her life can’t be changed anymore. 

– Rose Maylie: after Oliver got shot, she took care of him. She’s a nice young lady and she’s not like many other rich persons (in the book). She always sees something good in someone, that’s why they spare Oliver Twist. Rose said: ‘can you really believe that this delicate boy can be the voluntary associate of the worst outcasts of society?’

Because of her help, everyone discovers the truth about Oliver and that’s how it all turned out just fine.

– Monks: he is the half-brother of Oliver. He is prepared to do anything just to get the money, because money is everything. He is even prepared to kill his own brother Oliver. This shows that in these times, money was power and power was everything.


There are very exciting pieces in the book. For example when Nancy got killed. Or when Oliver got kidnapped. The author build up the suspense by constantly revealing new things about Oliver’s past. By doing this you just want to read faster and faster to know how the story of Oliver ends.


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