April 2012 Oliver Twist By Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist Charles Dickens

     Oliver Twist is a well-known story, but the book is not as widely read as one would imagine. We hope you will join us in the City Read. The novel has all the vivid storytelling that Dickens brings to all his novels, but there’s also a raw, gritty quality.

Oliver Twist was enormously influential in bringing to light the atrocious treatment of the poor and orphans in Dickens’s time. The novel is an important piece of social history.

Let us know what you think of the book?

Some areas for discussion are:

How do you think it compares to other works by Dickens?

Nature versus nurture. Oliver resisted thievery throughout the novel. Was his honesty an inherited trait? Which characters showed an honest nature, despite their circumstances and “low birth”?

Sikes repeatedly calls Fagin a devil. Is Fagin a devil? Which other characters are “devils”? Why?

Consider the women in Oliver Twist: Nancy, Rose Maylie, Agnes, Mrs. Corney, and Mrs. Bedwin. Were they good or evil? How are they similar and different from one another? How does Dickens’s portrayal of women compare to his portrayal of men?
What do you think of Dickens’ caricatures in Fagin and Bumble?

How does Fagin differ from the film version?

What is it about Fagin that makes him such a lasting archetype?

Let us know what you think of the London City Read!!

  1. […] reading Oliver from March 1 2012 and join the virtual discussion. Make sure to borrow your copy from Brent Libraries!! Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", […]

  2. This is a novel which I took to my heart from the very first page where Oliver is born to a poor workhouse lady.
    It is extremely well written and imbued with Dickens’ humanity and great concern for the poor and marginalised.
    To see Oliver Twist so ill used, starved and pushed and pummelled around, without any mercy for a homeless orphan is really heart wrenching.
    However, this novel, one of Dickens’ first does not lack humour and irony
    I cannot but recommend it heartily as a first class engrossing read.

  3. In this novel Dickens shows his concern and empathy for the poor and down-trodden in our society, in this way it is as resonant today as it was when it was written in the Victorian times. His humanity and humour makes this an outstanding read!

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