Charles John Huffam Dickens is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in literature, due to his work during the 19th century, referred to as the Victorian Era. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, Dickens endured harrowing experiences that significantly sculpted his approach to writing. The impact of these experiences are apparent in his various works, in which he utilizes literary techniques such as satire and dark humor, in order to provide social commentary on the various flaws of Victorian Era society. Charles Dickens’ literary perspective was significantly influenced by the emotional and psychological ramifications of the time he spent at Warren’s Blacking Factory, his shattered relationship with his mother, and the corruption/individualism he observed as a Parliamentary journalist; all of which are evident in his Victorian Era literary work, Oliver Twist.Dickens’ first significant experience that influenced his novel, Oliver Twist, occurred when he was forced to work at Warren’s Blacking Factory. At the tender age of eleven, Dickens had to work in a boot-blacking factory in order to support his family, after his father, John Dickens, was sent to debtors’ prison in Marshalsea located in London, England (Smith 127). Due to the “Poor Laws” established in England in 1834, Dickens was completely separated from his family and had to withstand the abuse and brutality administered by the workhouse officials. Government bureaucrats ensured that having the poor work at these workhouses would reduce the cost of governing the poor, alleviate beggars, and encourage the poor to work harder to support themselves; however, Dickens championed the denunciation of the Poor Laws with the satirical nature of Oliver Twist (“1834 Po…
…s the Poor Laws of 1834, using satire in order to describe its deep injustice towards the poor. However, Dickens exceptionally utilizes the situations and characters of Oliver Twist, such as Rose Maylie and Nancy who represent people that can still exhibit purity and moral values, in order to make constructive social commentary that can incite solutions to alleviate these social ills.
“1834 Poor Law.” The National Archives. UK Government/Public Record Office, 2003. Web. 1
Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist. Toronto: Bantam, 1982. Print.
Smith, Jennifer. “Oliver Twist Charles Dickens 1838.” Novels for Students. Presenting Analysis,Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Novels. Vol. 14. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2002. 126-51. Print.
“Victorian England.” Victorian England. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, n.d. Web. 28