Charles Dickens


Charles Dickens, a nineteenth century writer, tells a story
about a young boy in England and the adventures that happen
to him. In reading the book the reader becomes entwined in
the plot by Dickens^Òs expert writing and style. Using
different scenes and scenarios, Dickens displays his
characters' personality in a way the few other writers
could. In the book Oliver Twist, Dickens uses different
events that happen around Oliver instead letting Oliver
decide his own fate. In the book, other characters
determine Oliver^Òs path in life, and Oliver is the subject
around which the story revolves. The accidents in the story
give depth to Oliver and add depth to the story that
increases elements of mystery and suspense.
In the beginning of the book, Mrs. Thingummy is helping
Oliver^Òs mother give birth to the young child. Mrs.
Thingummy takes charge of Oliver^Òs life just as he is born
by stealing Oliver^Òs only link with his father, his
mother^Òs husband. Stealing the mother^Òs ring also commits
Oliver to a life of lower social status because of his
supposed illegitimacy. Oliver moves to the dark forces in
the book when he starts with absolutely nothing from his
very birth. The sides of good and evil, light and dark
respectively, are also devices used by Dickens to display
different sides of the social coin in England. Accidents
tie in closely with this device because it is by accident
that Oliver transferres to one side or another. After
spending time in the dark forces, Oliver then switches back
to the light side by a run in with Mr. Brownlow, a
compassionate citizen who pities Oliver and later takes
care of him. Of all the people that Oliver could run into
Mr. Brownlow happens to be one of those people who Oliver
desperately needed and who could and would provide for
Oliver. In another example of an accident, and a shift back
into the dark forces, Oliver happens to make a wrong turn
and end up in the hands of a band of crooks who earlier had
taken possession of Oliver. By chance the appropriate
person was in the alley that Oliver, by chance, walked into
when he was passing through the city of London. In the last
transition of chance, Oliver is caught breaking and
entering into a house that the band of crooks intends to
pillage. This house contains another compassionate and
tender character that becomes like a mother to Oliver.
Luckily, and by chance, the shot that one of the house
keepers fired when he found Oliver breaking in did not
mortally wound Oliver. Throughout all of these changeovers
and accidents Oliver never takes charge of his life and
becomes a player in the book, he always stays the subject
of the happenings around him.
Because Dickens wrote in installments this method served to
heighten the sense of suspense in the novel. Knowing that
Oliver could change his circumstances would not make the
story more interesting. Letting Oliver direct himself would
let his readers guess the most probable outcome of the
situation based on Oliver^Òs attitude and his previous
decisions. By letting accidents direct the course of the
story, dickens opens many avenues that the story could take
that would not be previously open. Anything could happen to
Oliver and the readers were always wondering what would
happen. The winding story of Oliver Twist is one of Dickens
classics, and a masterpiece of accidents.


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