He is living proof of childhood corruption and portrays himself as his young, mischievous, and perplexed characters Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. He proves that he is a product of the Victorian era as he brings attention to the childhood cruelty, the less fortunate in an English society, and the unwealthy dysfunctional families of the early Victorian time period. Charles Dickens reflects these and other issues as he brings to life the realism of writing. While others were writing about the way things should be, rather than the way things were, Dickens was challenging these ideas, and argued that paupers and criminals were not evil at birth. This was an act of rebellion, for he in fact was showing the Victorian middle class generation how things felt from a different point of view.
The Victorian era reflected more than just a change in the lack of economic development, but it marked on young children that endured the child cruelty and labor, such as Dickens, and many other writers of this time. Dickens, having been a poor boy, worked in a factory where he was treated with no respect, and many, such as him, had to work in cruel and dangerous conditions. This comes out in his writing, as Oliver Twist works in a factory so that he would get a meal, and a place to sleep. Oliver works long days and his meals come in fist size portions, and therefore all of the young children in the factory become thin and are on the verge of going into starvation. “Please, sir, I want some more.” (Ch. 2, pg. 12) This quotation is a direct reflection of Oliver’s hunger, and a child’s opinions of the cruelty that they have endured working in this factory in the Victorian era. Many children, perhaps even Dickens, worked 16 hour days under atrocious conditions. Of course, children of the Victorian time period weren’t always being labored; many were verbally and physically abused by their parents, and the upper class workmen of the English society. Dickens shows how parents can be cruel to their children as he does in David Copperfield, how David’s step father beats him. Also when he uses such a quotation from David’s mother when she says, “Am I a naughty mamma to you, Davy? Am I a nasty, cruel, selfish, bad mamma? Say I am, my child; say ?Yes’, dear boy, and Peggotty will love you; and Peggotty’s love is a great deal better than mine, Davy.